9/11 observances across the U.S., around the world

An American flag is unfurled during a commemoration at the Trocadero plaza in Paris, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (AP …

Americans honored the places where terrorism struck 10 years ago with  memorials and commemoration ceremonies Sunday. But beyond Manhattan, Shanksville, Pa., and Washington D.C., people in communities across the country and around the world also held anniversary observances.

Here are a few examples:

  • Firefighters across the United States climbed the length of 110 flight of stairs — the height of the Twin Towers — to honor the 343 New York firefighters who died in the line of duty. Colorado firefighters first undertook this event for the fifth anniversary of 9/11, and it spread to other fire stations. This year, Alaska participants climbed the Juneau Federal Building, Californians the TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco, South Carolinians at the Yachtsman Resort in Myrtle Beach, Texans at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas.
  • In Boston Public Garden, 3,000 American flags sprouted at the Garden of Rememberance, a 9/11 monument erected in 2004. Volunteers with Boston Cares gathered at dawn, according to the Boston Globe. Using mallets and screwdrivers, they planted all 3,000 within an hour. In New Jersey, its memorial, Empty Sky, debuted Saturday, drawing residents  throughout the weekend.
  • Many museums hosted commemorative events (the 9/11 Memorial museum in Pennsylvania opened Sunday to victims’ families and opens its doors to the general public on September 12). Washington D.C.’s Newseum waived entrance fees: One of its permanent exhibits is its 9/11 gallery, which includes a display of newspapers’ front pages during that time and the North Tower’s twisted broadcast antenna.
  • In the town of Belleville, Ill., a short ceremony gathered around a 35-foot, 7,100-pound steel beam, the centerpiece of the town’s Sept. 11 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois. The New York Port Authority has granted more than 1,200 requests to disburse relics from the WTC site to places around the world.
  • Tributes have proliferated online, big and small, as Americans remembered where they were that day in 2001. A Gazette Times reader had flashbacks to her time in Oklahoma, when Tim McVeigh brought down the federal building with his homemade bomb. A NYT reader wrote about scooping dust from an abandoned car four days after the event, and keeping it in a jar. On Yahoo!, a woman recounted the birth of her daughter on 9/11.

Observances have also taken place far beyond U.S. shores, including a London service and prayers in Marie Rose Abad Village, a former Manila shantytown rehabilitated to fulfill a victim’s wish to help destitute Filipinos. (Mental Floss recounts the global reactions in the days following the 2001 attacks.)

The largest overseas memorial, NPR reported, took place in France. A civic group, The French Will Never Forget, recreated a nine-story replica of the World Trade Center, across from the Eiffel Tower. Names of 9/11 victim were inscribed on each tower. The civic group’s site also is commemorating American sacrifice during World War II, and has launched an initiative to “lay a red rose on each and every one of the 60,511 graves and 11 Missing in Action monuments of Americans fallen in France” from both world wars by July 4.

The movement reinforces a message France sent to the world, and Le Monde newspaper proclaimed in 2001, “Nous sommes tous Americains” — “We are all Americans.”