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PRINCETON — Events honoring the victims and heroes of Sept. 11, 2001 have been scheduled across Mercer County and the surrounding area for this Saturday.

September 11 comes on Saturday this year. Starting at 9 a.m. that day, the Princeton Fire Department will be holding a memorial stair climb at Hunnicutt Stadium near Princeton Senior High School. The Princeton Police Department’s Honor Guard will also present the colors, along with the Princeton Senior High School marching band performing the National Anthem.

On the other side of the county, the City of Bluefield will be conducting a 9-11 ceremony at Chicory Square in downtown Bluefield. The ceremony begins at noon.

The Montcalm High School JROTC will be participating, and Trevor Darago of Concord University will perform the National Anthem, organizers said. The Bluefield High School Band under the direction of Nick Hinkle will play patriotic music.

This year’s keynote speaker at Chicory Square will be Bluefield’s new city manager, Col. (retired) Cecil Marson, U.S. Army. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Bluefield City Hall.

In neighboring Bland County, Va., there will be a stair climb in honor of the victims and first responders of Sept. 11, 2001 at Big Walker Lookout with the participation of Bland County Proud. There will be a moment of silence at 11 a.m. The event includes barbecue and hotdog plates along with baked goods, organizers said. All proceeds will benefit local first responders.

A variety of other events honoring the victims and first responders of Sept. 11, 2001 have been scheduled for Saturday.

In Glenwood, the Mercer County Historical Society will be hosting the Mercer County Heritage Festival on Friday and Saturday at the 4-H Camp in Glenwood. 

On Saturday, there will be a special 9/11 program by the Mercer County Veterans Honor Guard with County Commissioner Bill Archer. The event will be at the 4-H camp in Glenwood during the Mercer County Heritage Festival.

Across the state line in Bluefield, Va., a bell will ring from 5:45 to 5:48 p.m Saturday for three minutes to honor those who perished in 9/11 attacks as part of the 41st Annual Autumn Jamboree in downtown Bluefield, Va.  Concord University announced Thursday that it is participation in “September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World,” a downloadable educational exhibition that presents the history of 9/11, its origins, and its ongoing implications through the personal stories of those who witnessed and survived the attacks. Told across 14 posters, this exhibition includes archival photographs and images of artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection. It explores the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and communities at the local, national, and international levels, and encourages critical thinking about the legacies of 9/11.

This 9/11 Memorial & Museum curated exhibition reflects the core pillars of commemoration, education, and inspiration as the public prepares to observe the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, organizers said.

“During this 20th anniversary year, it is our privilege to share these lessons with a new generation, teach them about the ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks and inspire them with the idea that, even in the darkest of times, we can come together, support one another and find the strength to renew and rebuild,” said 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald.

“Concord University is very pleased to be able to participate in such a learning opportunity for our students and surrounding community,” said Elizabeth Chandler, director of the Library at Concord University, said. “We have a lot of veteran’s attending Concord and many participated in the Gulf War or have served tours of duty around the world protecting our country since 9/11. This exhibit serves as a commemoration of their service as well.”

One event honoring local first responders Sept. 12 at the Bluefield Elks Lodge has been canceled due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

The Bluefield Elks Lodge was planning to host this year’s event at the Elks Lodge on Whitethorn Street on Sept. 12 this year. During previous events, local firefighters, law enforcement agencies, EMTs and veterans were recognized for their service to their communities and country.

The Elks had planned to host a 2021 event, but then local numbers of COVID-19 cases started to increase, said Dr. Randy Stevens, the lodge’s president.

—Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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