Ceremonies to mark anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks

Several DuPage County communities, including Naperville, Oak Brook, Lombard and Glendale Heights, will observe the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with remembrance ceremonies.

Sponsored by the Exchange Club, this year's event in Naperville starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at the Cmdr. Dan Shanower/Sept. 11 Memorial along the downtown Riverwalk and behind city hall, 400 S. Eagle St. The ceremony will move inside the municipal center in case of rain.

The Naperville Municipal Band will perform at 5:45 p.m. at the memorial just before the start of the remembrance.

As part of the observance, there will be a 30-minute concert at the Millennium Carillon, including the solemn tolling of the "Big Joe" bell, followed by "In Memoriam," a carillon piece written following the events of 2001 and meant to be played in bell towers around the world.

Patriotic selections and others that focus on the themes of hope and peace will make up the remainder of the concert.

Carillon music also can be heard beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This year's featured speaker is Lanson W. "Lanny" Russell, who retired as chief of the DeKalb Fire Department in July 2008 following a 44-year fire service career. Russell was a chief for 31 years of his career, serving departments in Peotone, Villa Park, Downers Grove and DeKalb.

While in Peotone, Russell was part of the team that established the first all-volunteer paramedic program in Illinois, and he was fire chief in DeKalb when the deadly shooting that took the lives of five students and injured another 18 occurred at Northern Illinois University.

Russell was among the first eight members to be recognized as Fire Chief Emeritus by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association in October 2008.

In Oak Brook, meanwhile, a Healing Field of Honor that features 2,976 American flags representing those killed in the terrorist attacks went up late last week and will remain on display through Monday at the Village of Oak Brook Sports Core, 700 Oak Brook Road, just east of the Oak Brook Library.

The display is sponsored by the village and the True Patriots Care Foundation.

Ceremonies are scheduled both Sunday and Monday at the site.

The observance begins at 11 a.m. Sunday with the reading of the names of the fallen. The Navy Band will perform at 2 p.m. and the full program begins at 3 p.m. and includes speeches by Don Basco, a survivor of the attacks on the World Trade Center and president of American Pride, and Ryan Yantis, a survivor of the attack on the Pentagon and vice president of American Pride.

On Monday, the village will hold a ceremony at 9 a.m. with the fire department.

In Glendale Heights, officials are planning a Patriot Day Ceremony that begins at 7:15 p.m. Monday on the front steps of the village hall, 300 Civic Center Plaza. For details, visit

In Lombard, a brief ceremony and moment of silence to remember the Sept. 11 tragedy begins at 8:45 a.m. Monday around the flagpole at Fire Station 1, 50 E. St. Charles Road. Fire Chief Rick Sander and the fire department staff will lead a moment of silence and make brief comments. For details, call (630) 620-5736.

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