9/11/2021 7:00:00 AM
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, the /mdva/news/9-11-and-gwot-task-force/index.jsp9/11 Global War on Terrorism Task Force, and the Minnesota Military Museum will mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this September with an event on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds. The official “9/11 Day of Remembrance” is scheduled in-person for Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. In addition to memorializing the events of that day and honoring those impacted, this event is focused on bringing the community together through a message of hope, unity and resilience.
The event will feature moments of silence and tolling of local church bells in remembrance of the airplane attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a reading of names of Minnesotans killed that day and during the Global War on Terrorism, and a commemorative ceremony including aircraft flyovers, guest speakers, musical performances, and military honors. Speakers will include retired Army Gen. Joseph Votel, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Betty McCollum, MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke, Gold Star Mother Jill Stephenson and Mariah Jacobsen, daughter of Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett.
Other elements of the day will include a 9/11 documentary screening and museum exhibit, live music, food vendors, connection opportunities, children’s activities and more.
A Commemorative Coin will be available to GWOT Veterans. Register for this free coin here.
7:30 - 9 a.m. - Pre-ceremony: Tolling of Bells and Reading of Names
Names of Minnesotans lost on 9/11 and during the Global War on Terrorism since then will be read, interspersed with moments of silence and tolling local church bells, corresponding with the times of the 9/11 airplane attacks.
9 - 10:45 a.m. - Day of Remembrance Official Ceremony
This will feature guest speakers, military honors, wreath laying, flyover, and musical tributes.
In addition to speakers, event contributors include:
10:45 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Day of Remembrance Connection Activities
Veteran resources and discussion groups, live music, food vendors, children’s activities and a special Post-9/11 display.
Reserve your complimentary tickets for Sept 10 or 11 to see the traveling Post-/11 display (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), developed by the MN Military & Veterans Museum, in the Cedar Street Armory on the State Capitol grounds. Click here for tickets (space is limited). This 2,000 sq ft display expands on the accounts of RESOLUTE: MN Stories of 9/11 & the War.
Free parking will be available in many lots and ramps near the Capitol grounds.
You are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit comfortably.
"Watching how things have unfolded recently in Afghanistan has been difficult, and people are reacting in different ways.
For many who served over the past 20 years, Afghanistan was a defining part of their lives. They put themselves in harm’s way to seek out those who attacked us and to make our country a safer place. Many developed bonds of friendship with Afghan people and gave so much to help them have a better life. What has transpired is gut-wrenching.
No matter what you’re feeling, now is a critically important time to show support for Veterans, those currently serving, and Gold Star families who have sacrificed so much.
Our Armed Forces personnel stepped up, and continue to step up, when others do not. We should be forever grateful for their courage and sacrifice, and for keeping our homeland safe from terrorist attack over the past 20 years.
The 9/11 Day of Remembrance is planned to remember and thank all Minnesotans whose lives have been so deeply impacted since September 11, 2001. For those who can attend, we encourage you to take time before or after the ceremony to talk with Veterans and Gold Star families; to listen to their experiences and to share your gratitude."
--MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke
Retired Army General Joseph Votel - GEN Votel attended the United States Military Academy and was commissioned in 1980 as an Infantry Officer. His initial assignments were to the 3d Infantry Division in Germany where he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Battalion Adjutant and Rifle Company Commander. Following this he served as a Small Group Tactics Instructor at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia before being assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment as a Plans / Liaison Officer where he participated in Operation JUST CAUSE. He was next posted to the 1st Ranger Battalion where he served as the Battalion Liaison Officer, Operations Officer and Executive Officer.
Following this he was assigned to HQs, Allied Forces Southern Europe, Naples, Italy and the NATO Peace Implementation Force (IFOR) in Sarajevo. He commanded the 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry (Light) at Fort Drum, New York and was subsequently selected to command the 1st Ranger Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. Following attendance at the Army War College GEN Votel commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment and participated in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq.
As a general officer he served in the Pentagon as the Director of the Army and Joint IED Defeat Task Force and subsequently as the Deputy Director of the Joint IED Defeat Organization established under the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He served as the Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 82d Airborne Division / CJTF-82, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan and was subsequently assigned as the Deputy Commanding General then Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He most recently served as the Commanding General of U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
GEN Votel is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the United States Army War College.
Senator Amy Klobuchar - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate and is currently serving her third term in the U.S. Senate. She is the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee and also serves on the Judiciary, Commerce and Agriculture committees.
Before serving in the Senate, Senator Klobuchar headed the largest prosecutor’s office in Minnesota for eight years, making the prosecution of violent criminals her top priority while increasing the office’s focus on white collar crime. She led the effort for successful passage of Minnesota’s first felony DWI law and received the leadership award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her safe schools initiative, community prosecution efforts, and criminal justice reforms earned national awards from both the Bush and Clinton Justice Departments. She worked with the Innocence Project to advocate for videotaped interrogations across the country as well as innovative eyewitness processes to protect against false identifications. As a private citizen and before being elected to public office, Senator Klobuchar was the leading advocate for successful passage of one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing 48-hour hospital stays for new moms and their babies.
Senator Klobuchar was the valedictorian of her Wayzata High School class. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Her senior essay in college, published as the book "Uncovering the Dome," chronicles the 10-year-history behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and is still used at colleges and universities across the country. Senator Klobuchar is married to John Bessler, a native of Mankato, and together have a daughter, Abigail.
Senator Tina Smith - Tina Smith serves as United States Senator for Minnesota. She’s a fierce advocate for Minnesotans and is focused on continuing the progressive legacy of the seat she holds.
Tina was born on March 4, 1958 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Santa Fe. In 1980, she graduated from Stanford University and in 1984, earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Tina then moved to Minnesota to work at General Mills and raise a family with her husband, Archie. They've been married for more than 30 years and have two sons, Sam and Mason.
Tina left General Mills to start her own small business. Since then, she has dedicated her career to working on behalf of Minnesotans to improve lives and ensure that the state government works better for the people it serves. She served as Chief of Staff to both Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Governor Mark Dayton.
In 2014, Tina was elected to serve as Minnesota’s 48th Lieutenant Governor. As Lieutenant Governor, she traveled to every corner of the state to talk with, learn from, and work on behalf of Minnesotans.
Since coming to the Senate in 2018, U.S. Senator Tina Smith has been a fierce advocate for the people and communities across Minnesota. She has traveled the state, listened to Minnesotans and turned what she’s heard into laws to help the American people.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum - Betty McCollum represents the residents of Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, as well as all of Ramsey County and most of Washington County. In 2000, Congresswoman McCollum made history as only the second Minnesota woman elected to serve in Congress since statehood in 1858.
Throughout her career in public service, Congresswoman McCollum has been a champion for excellence in education, protecting the environment, expanding health care access, fiscal responsibility, and robust international engagement that prioritizes diplomacy, development, human rights, along with a strong national defense.
Prior to Congress, Congresswoman McCollum served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000, and was elected Assistant Leader three times by her Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party colleagues. From 1987 to 1992, she served her neighbors on the North St. Paul City Council.
In addition to elected office, Congresswoman McCollum's career has included teaching high school social science, as well as twenty-five years in retail sales and management. She is a graduate of the College of St. Catherine, and the mother of two adult children. Congresswoman McCollum is a Minnesota native who grew up in South St. Paul, raised her family in North St. Paul, and now lives in St. Paul.
Commissioner Larry Herke, Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs - Retired Colonel Larry Herke was appointed as the 18th Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) in January, 2019. Commissioner Herke is charged with assisting the Minnesota’s 312,000 Veterans and their families. He also represents MDVA at hearings before the Minnesota State Legislature and United States Congress, and maintains close working relationships with various Veterans Service Organizations of Minnesota.
Commissioner Herke served for more than 30 years as a member of the United States Army and Minnesota National Guard. While serving in the Guard, then Colonel Herke mobilized as part of the 1st Brigade of the 34th Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-2008. He is the current Chair of the 9/11 and GWOT Remembrance Task Force and is committed to the Task Force mission to honor and remember Minnesotans, Minnesota Veterans and their families whose lives were forever changed by the event of 9/11/2001 and the Global War on Terrorism.
Commissioner John Harrington, Minnesota Department of Public Safety - John Harrington was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety by Gov. Tim Walz in January 2019. Prior to his appointment, Harrington served as the Metro Transit Chief of Police for the Twin Cities area, overseeing significant growth of the agency and increasing diversity of the department from 5 to 50 percent.
In 1977, Harrington began at the St. Paul Police Department as a patrol officer, working his way up the chain of command. He was selected chief of police in 2004 and served in that role until 2010. As chief, he addressed some of St. Paul’s most difficult problems. This resulted in numerous successes, including the development of innovative programs that have greatly reduced domestic violence and gang involvement.
Harrington served as a Minnesota state senator from the east side of St. Paul from 2010 to 2012. Harrington has been on the faculty at Metropolitan State University, Saint Mary’s University, and the University of St. Thomas, where he has taught Leadership, Demographics, Community Oriented Policing, and Gangs.
Harrington is a founding member of the Asian-American and black police officer associations. He helped launch and currently chairs the board at Ujamaa Place, a non-profit agency that works with African-American men to transition them out of prison and gangs to become productive community members.
Harrington was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth University and master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas. He is the father of five adult children and has 16 grandchildren, and currently resides in the Twin Cities.
Jill Stephenson, Gold Star mother of CPL Benjamin Kopp, KIA 7-18-09 - Jill Stephenson is the Gold Star Mother of CPL Benjamin Kopp, a US Army Ranger who died eight days after being wounded during his third deployment in July of 2009. Kopp, 21, was influenced to join the military out of reverence for his great-grandfather's service with the 34th Infantry Division during WWII and by the events of 9/11, which took place only five months after his great-grandfather's passing. Because of the depth of emotion associated with these two events, Kopp declared at the age of 13 that he would become an Army Ranger.
Stephenson has made it her life mission to honor her grandfather and her son’s service to America by paying forward their legacies to our Veterans and their families. Stephenson is a member of the 9/11 and GWOT Remembrance Task Force and chairs the Task Force’s Education Workgroup as well as participates as a member of the commemoration Workgroup.
Mariah Jacobsen, daughter of Flight 93 hero, Tom Burnett - Mariah Jacobsen is the daughter of United Airlines Flight 93 victim Tom Burnett, Jr. Tom’s fortitude and decisive action aboard Flight 93 inspires Mariah's active involvement in her community through volunteerism, board service, and participation on the Task Force.
Mariah is a practicing attorney and works as corporate counsel for a large, privately-held retail company headquartered in Burnsville, MN. She resides in Northfield, MN with her husband David and their three small children. Ms. Jacobsen is a member of the 9/11 and GWOT Remembrance Task Force and serves on the Commemoration Workgroup.
For more information, contact MDVA.Communications@state.mn.us.