MICHIGAN CITY — Three local organizations are teaming up to present a memorial program honoring those who died in the 9/11 attacks.

The Salvation Army of Michigan City, the Guardian Riders and the Michigan City Fire Department are partnering to create the program, to take place in Michigan City, to remembering those who gave their lives during the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The 9/11 Remembrance Program and Stair Climb will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 a.m. at the Michigan City Elston YMCA at 1202 Spring St.

Keynote speaker will be Major Becky Simmons of The Salvation Army of Michigan City, who will share her story of visiting Ground Zero in New York City following the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

“Many officers within The Salvation Army receive training to respond to emergency disasters and crises such as tornados, hurricanes and fires.

“This was an opportunity for me to visit a disaster site and offer my services not only as a pastor, but as a social worker to help the first responders who were doing such important, yet emotionally devastating, work,” said Simmons, who was specifically trained by The Salvation Army in critical incident stress management.

Also taking part in the event will be firefighters from the MCFD and students from the A.K. Smith Career Center’s fire science class. The students will be conducting a stair climb tribute throughout the event, climbing 110 flights of stairs in the YMCA gymnasium, equaling about 2,200 steps, in honor of fallen firefighters.

The Guardian Riders, a local organization that works to help active duty military personnel and veterans, were key in developing the program to honor the 9/11 victims.

“The benefit of doing a program like this is to keep the memory of 9/11 alive locally, here in Michigan City because every red-blooded American shared the sadness, the fear, the losses of our neighbors hundreds of miles away that day,” said Stacey Gembala, club secretary for the Guardian Riders.

The Guardian Riders are proud to partner with The Salvation Army and the Michigan City Fire Department on this event, she said.

“We like to work with other organizations in our community to help as many people as we can. This event, we believe, is something Michigan City needed as a way to remember and honor all involved in the events that occurred on that day.”

Other groups and individuals who will participate in this event include the MCHS JROTC, which will present colors; American Legion Post 37, which will provide a 21-gun salute; Leigh Morris, who will sing the National Anthem; and Pipe Major Craig Brooks of the Celtic Guard Academy, who will close the ceremony.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact The Salvation Army at 219-874-6885 or the Guardian Riders at guardianridersIN@gmail.com.

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