Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Here are some of the ways to commemorate the day around Chattanooga in person and virtually:


— Anniversary commemoration: First responders from across the region will be uniting to honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks during a special event in Downtown Chattanooga. The commemoration will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ross's Landing on Riverfront Parkway. There will be a ceremony followed by a large group photo. Local leaders and members of the military will also be in attendance. The event will mark the passage of two decades since the day that changed our country forever. The event is open to the public, and masks are required.


— "12 Horsemen of Afghanistan": Retired Army Master Sgt. Chris Spence will speak Saturday about a photograph he took that made history. His presentation starts at 2 p.m. at the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center, 2 W. Aquarium Way.

Spence was part of an elite Green Beret team, the 5th Special Operations Group, that led the first invasion into Afghanistan, on horseback, 20 years ago, one month after 9/11. For most of the Americans on the team, it was their first time on a horse, and they were riding into combat using a mode of transportation last used by the Army in the early 20th century.

The photo he took would be used by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in his first news conference of the war. It would later inspire a Hollywood producer to create a movie called "12 Strong," based on the New York Times best-selling book "Horse Soldiers" by Doug Stanton. Spence's photo is on display at the Smithsonian Institution and served as the template for the Horse Soldiers Statue that overlooks the 9/11 Memorial.

Sales and an autograph party for Stanton's book will take place after the presentation. Spence's program is free with regular admission ($10-$14). To reserve a seat, call 423- 877-2524, ext. 101.


— 9/11: A Day of Remembrance: The Scenic City Women's Network ( commemorated the events of 9/11 earlier this month with a film crew on hand. The made-for-television ceremony will be shown at 1:30 p.m. Friday on Fox Chattanooga and again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the CW.

The program includes remarks by retired Maj. Gen. Bill Raines of Chattanooga and Keith Hardison, executive director of the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, plus presentation of colors, patriotic music and prayers.

(Read more 9/11 20th anniversary coverage from the Times Free Press here)


— "We Remember": The South Crest Chapel of Lane Funeral Home, 833 Chickamauga Ave., Rossville, will present remarks by retired Lt. Col Ray Adkins in a program at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The ceremony also includes the posting of colors, Pledge of Allegiance, national anthem, recognition of first responders, the release of 20 doves and the playing of "Taps." Scout troops will pass out flags. Preceding the program, bell ringings at 8:45, 9:30, 9:45 and 10:10 a.m. will represent the time the four airplanes hijacked by the terrorists crashed. 706-866-5151


— Precious Lives: A Collection of Stories From 9/11: McCallie School has launched a website to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks with memory stories collected from around the world.

Duke Richey, who teaches advanced placement U.S. history at the private school, began the project in 2014 when he realized that most of his students had no memory of 9/11.

"Here you will read memories, remembrances of what happened two decades ago on one day in American history that anyone alive then will never forget," says a statement on the website, "These are stories about that day, told by everyday people from across America and the world."

Twenty stories are part of the archive. The school plans to release a new story every Tuesday at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center.


— Chattanooga Zoo, 301 N. Holtzclaw Ave., will offer free admission to first responders for a week starting Saturday. The promotion also includes 50% discounts for up to three additional tickets. Active-duty military personnel and veterans are always eligible for this discount.


— Your Next Mission: This podcast series is hosted by U.S. Army veteran Jack L. Tilley, who was serving as the 12th Sergeant Major of the Army at the time of the attacks. On Saturday, he will preside over a live show from the Air Force Memorial in Washington, D.C., from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Among his guests will be military personnel who were on the scene when the attack on the Pentagon occurred and others who lost a spouse.

Other podcasts this week, which are also available, have featured Stephen Lofgren, historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History who wrote the first accounts of the events surrounding the attack on the Pentagon; and Teri Maude, whose husband died at the Pentagon.

Country music artist Darryl Worley is Friday's guest. He describes the lasting impact 9/11 had on his life, inspiring him to write the song "Have You Forgotten?" about the events of the day.

Learn more at


— Remember the sky: New York's 9/11 Memorial & Museum is inviting mass participation in a remembrance meant as a reminder that all are connected beneath the same big sky. On Saturday, post a photo of the sky, no matter the weather, and post it to Instagram with the hashtags #NeverForget911 and @911memorial.

This remembrance is inspired by the clear blue sky that was present in New York City and across the country on 9/11, as well as by Spencer Finch's art installation in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The monumental artwork, "Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning," comprises 2,983 watercolors, each in a unique shade of blue, paying tribute to the enormity of collective loss and the individuality of those who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the World Trade Center bombing on Feb. 26, 1993.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.