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  • Leominster Fire Chief Robert Sideleau II (l.) and Leominster Police...

    Leominster Fire Chief Robert Sideleau II (l.) and Leominster Police Chief Aaron Kennedy (second from left) along with other members of the police and fire departments attended the solemn and stirring 9/11 20th anniversary ceremony held last year at the Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park in Leominster. (DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE)

  • Sept. 10, 2022 — Lowell Mayor Sokhary Chau and interim...

    Sept. 10, 2022 — Lowell Mayor Sokhary Chau and interim Police Superintendent Barry Golner, joined cadets in the Lowell police academy at a 9/11 remembrance. (COURTESY ERASTUS MWANGI)

  • Sept. 10, 2022 — Members of the Lowell High School...

    Sept. 10, 2022 — Members of the Lowell High School Reserve Officer Training Corps present the nation’s colors at a 9/11 remembrance event. (COURTESY ERASTUS MWANGI)

  • Leominster Director of Veterans Services Richard Voutour rang a bell...

    Leominster Director of Veterans Services Richard Voutour rang a bell 20 times at the 9/11 ceremony at the Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park in Leominster, one for each year since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. (DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE)

  • Then 5-year-old Henry Norcross of Fitchburg attended the 20th anniversary...

    Then 5-year-old Henry Norcross of Fitchburg attended the 20th anniversary 9/11 ceremony at Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park in Leominster last year with family, including his Army veteran grandfather and service dog in training Jenny. (DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE)

  • Fitchburg resident Alan Swartz sang a moving version of the...

    Fitchburg resident Alan Swartz sang a moving version of the National Anthem at last year’s 20th anniversary 9/11 ceremony at Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park in Leominster. (DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE)

  • Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella’s voice broke with emotion when he...

    Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella’s voice broke with emotion when he spoke about the two local residents whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001, Thomas Pecorelli and Jesus Sanchez, at the 9/11 ceremony held at the Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park in Leominster. (DANIELLE RAY/SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE)

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Sunday marks 21 years since that fateful September morning, a day that will forever live in historical infamy. Those of a certain age and older who recall the 2001 tragedy often have a personal story to tell about where they were on 9/11 and the details that they remember from it as they watched the horror unfold.

Ceremonies and events in the Twin Cities, across the region, and beyond this weekend will mark the somber occasion and give the public the opportunity to pay their respects to the nearly 3,000 people who perished that day, and even more souls in the wake, including firefighters, police, and first responders, of which 206 were from Massachusetts.

Lowell Mayor Sokhary Chau said the city “held a nice, somber” ceremony Friday morning at the high school complete with songs from the students, the pledge of allegiance, and city fire and police personnel, the latter of which brought police academy cadets.

“We go to a lot of these ceremonies, but I thought this morning was very, very special,” Chau said Friday.

Last year saw some well-attended 20th anniversary ceremonies, including a reverent and meaningful one held at Johnny Ro Veteran’s Memorial Park in Leominster that drew a large crowd. Veterans and their family, police and fire, and citizens gathered together to honor the fallen at the event that featured speakers, music selections and the Veterans Chorus, and Gold Star mothers placing wreaths.

Area 9/11 remembrances:

A 9/11 memorial event is scheduled for Sunday at 8:30 a.m. in Monument Square downtown Leominster. There will be limited seating, attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair.

The annual 9/11 ceremony at the Middlesex Global War on Terrorism monument, 1 Hollis St., Pepperell, which was erected for the post 9/11 era, will be held at 9:45 a.m. and will include a roll call of all first responders who died that day.

A short vigil will be held at 9:55 a.m. on Sunday morning at all firehouses statewide including Fitchburg Fire Department headquarters at 33 North St. and Leominster Fire Department, 19 Church St.

A free cookout for veterans and their family will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at Johnny Ro Veteran’s Memorial Park, 720 Mechanic St., Leominster, an annual tradition.

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