Palo Alto and Stanford organizations will remember the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Friday and Saturday, hosting events to offer perspective, bring people of different backgrounds together and encourage volunteers to perform service projects in honor of those who died.
The Hoover Institution at Stanford University will host a webinar, "Reflecting on September 11th: 20 Years Later" on Friday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m.
Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state; former U.S. Secretary of Defense Gen. Jim Mattis; John B. Taylor, former undersecretary of the U.S. treasury for International affairs; and Karen Hughes, fourth undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, will recount their personal experiences during the terror attack. Rice, Taylor and Hughes all were serving in the George W. Bush administration on Sept. 11; Mattis led Marine Corps forces into Afghanistan in the months afterward.
They'll reflect on what that day meant for America, how it changed the country, and how the U.S. moved forward in the world in its aftermath. They'll also discuss the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan and what it means for national security. To register, visit hoover.org/events/reflecting-september-11th-20-years-later.
On Saturday, the Multifaith Peace Picnic will include a free meal and an interfaith prayer service; and the 2021 Mid-Peninsula National Day of Service and Remembrance will host volunteer projects at multiple sites in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto.
The Peace Picnic, sponsored by American Muslim Voice and Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice, honors all who were killed in the 2001 attacks. It also honors the 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows — families whose loved ones died in the attack but who have dedicated themselves to creating a more peaceful world.
"We wanted to honor the victims, families and first responders that have lost loved ones," organizer Samina Sundas said.
The Multifaith Peace Picnic has been an annual event since the first anniversary of Sept. 11. Sundas, founder of American Muslim Voice, started the picnic after someone blamed her for the terrorist event because she is a Muslim.
"Some days, it seems like we are making progress, then all of a sudden something happens and the Muslim community feels like it could be a backlash again," she said recently, noting the return to power by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the current of hatred among some groups throughout the country.
This year, the event is limited to 150 people and those who are interested are encouraged to preregister. Food will also be boxed for people who don't want to eat on-site due to COVID-19 concerns. Participants are required to wear a mask at all times and to socially distance. The event takes place 5:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at King Plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave. Palo Alto, To register visit tinyurl.com/e3swbyvr.
The Youth Community Service Day of Service will bring together volunteers to perform projects including food drives, card making, mural painting, fence painting, gardening and cleanups and more. This year's theme is Reconnect, Remember and Renew.
"The struggles of this past year have shown us the importance of community connections and supporting one another," the nonprofit organization stated on its website.
The projects are open to people of all ages and from every community. Masks are required. and participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. For details and to register, call 650-858-8019 or visit youthcommunityservice.org/national-day-of-service.