September 11 Tribute

Never ForgetThis year marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11. In recognition, the Town of Fountain Hills is hosting a 9/11 Tribute throughout the week leading up to the anniversary date. The Tribute includes a poetry and art exhibit, craft projects to contribute to the ceremony, and a stair climb challenge honoring the first responders who gave their lives.

This week-long Tribute is a chance for us to remember and reflect on the impact this event had on our community. Out of the sorrow of 9/11 came a commitment to give back. At this year's 9/11 Tribute, we encourage individuals to pledge to help a person, our community, or our nation through an act of kindness or service. These acts of kindness align with the Town of Fountain Hills Golden Rule designation.

The weeklong activities are opportunities for families to create projects that symbolize healing, peace, and survival. Children are encouraged to create a First Responders Badge and a Survivor’s Leaf to hang on a designated tree to be planted at the 9/11 Ceremony. All ages are encouraged to create a paper crane either at home or with one of our craft events. The week will culminate with a special ceremony on Sept. 11, at the Amphitheater in Fountain Park. The ceremony begins at 6:00 PM. 

9/11 Ceremony

September 11, 6:00 PM at Fountain Park

  • 6:00 PM:  Ceremony at the Amphitheater
  • Bring your Survivor Leaf with a message to hang on our designated tree or make one onsite.
  • Fountain Tribute- The fountain will display blue lights from dusk to 9:00 PM.
  • September 13-17th- Poem and Art Exhibit Online

Art Exhibit

This artwork belongs to one of the students (Gail Feldman)  from “Art Open Studio”.  She died suddenly on June 22, 2021.   Gail worked and lived in downtown Manhattan when 9-11 happened,  She was part of our weekly ‘Open Studio’ at the Community Center, and this was one of the last paintings we worked on before she passed.

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Stair Climb Challenge

Across the nation, you can honor the 343 first responders who gave their lives to help others on 9/11 by climbing 110 stories – the equivalent of the highest point of the World Trade Center. According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which sponsors the stair climbs, the event not only honors the memories of first responders who died that day but also symbolizes the completion of their heroic journeys to save others. Sign up for the Stair Climb challenge and complete 2,071 steps on 9/11 to honor our first responders. Register for the challenge using the Walker Tracker App Across the nation, you can honor the 343 first responders who gave their lives to help others on 9/11 by climbing 110 stories – the equivalent of the highest point of the World Trade Center. According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which sponsors the stair climbs, the event not only honors the memories of first responders who died that day but also symbolizes the completion of their heroic journeys to save others. Sign up for the Stair Climb challenge and complete 2,071 steps on 9/11 to honor our first responders. Register for the challenge using the Walker Tracker App townoffountainhills.walkertracker.com/competitions/66143


Poetry and Art Exhibit

Fountain Hills invites poets and artists from throughout the Town to submit a poem or artwork to honor the lives lost and survivors from September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S. The theme of the exhibit will reflect on our need to honor the memories of the victims, while also look forward to new beginnings.  The poems and artwork will be displayed on the Town website social media. Email your poem and an image of your artwork to layres@fh.az.gov.

Paper Cranes

How can we come together and show support for each other during difficult times? Create a paper crane that represents both long life and healing and reminds us of the importance of community during an emergency. We invite all Fountain Hills residents to make a paper crane to be displayed at the 9/11 Ceremony. All paper cranes can be dropped off at Town Hall by September 8th.

In Japanese culture, cranes are mystical animals that symbolize long life and healing. There is a legend that if you fold a thousand paper cranes, you will be granted a wish or recover from an injury. Chains of colorful paper cranes were a familiar sight across Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11. Shortly after the attacks, a replica of the Statue of Liberty appeared outside a firehouse in midtown Manhattan. It was soon covered from torch to toe with tributes, including paper cranes, uniform patches, flags, notes, souvenirs, and other mementos from passersby. This statue continues to remind us of the community of people that came together after the attacks to spread hope and healing.

Instructions for making Paper Cranes

Survivor Tree

What does it mean to be “resilient?” The Survivor Tree is a symbol of hope and resilience for many people who visit the 9/11 Memorial. Learn the story of the Survivor Tree and create a Survivor Tree leaf to inspire those in your community. Bring your leaf so we can hang it on a tree to be planted in Fountain Park.

Weeks after 9/11, a single Callery pear tree, which became known as the Survivor Tree, was discovered buried in rubble at Ground Zero. It was burned and badly damaged, but it still showed signs of life. Workers rescued the tree and it was transported to a park where it was tended to and cared for. Over the years, it grew from eight to 30 feet tall, sprouting new branches and flowering in spring. It was returned to the 9/11 Memorial plaza in 2010. It is a living symbol of hope and resilience, which is the ability to recover and bounce back after facing change or difficulties.

Instructions for making your Survivors Leaf