SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of September 11th is being held at Riverfront Park in Springfield Friday night.

A total of 498 first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 are being honored during the Spirit of Springfield’s annual September 11th Remembrance Ceremony at Riverfront Park. The event begins at 6 p.m. Those who wish to attend the free event can access Riverfront Park at the State Street entrance, seating is limited, however, lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

22News will be at the event and livestream on WWLP.com

Speeches will be conducted by Mayor Domenic Sarno, Colonel William Bladen, Commander of the 104th Fighter Wing, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, Fire Commissioner B. J. Calvi, and Emily Chandler, representing American Medical Response. 

Video messages from former President George W. Bush and U. S. Congressman Richard Neal will be included as well as messages from guests who attended the 9/11 Monument dedication ceremony in 2019. The messages collected include representatives from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York Police and Fire Departments, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and from President George W. Bush’s offices, Andrew H. Card Jr., former Chief of Staff, and Bradley Blakeman, former Deputy Assistant for Appointments and Scheduling, Vetting and Research, Correspondence and Surrogate Scheduling. 

The names of the 498 first responders will be displayed on a large LED screen. Vanessa V. Ford and Joe C. Broadnax will perform “Hero” and “You Raise Me Up.” Tolling of the fire bell, taps, laying of a wreath, a roll out of emergency equipment across the Memorial Bridge, and a flyover by the 104th Fighter Unit from Barnes Air National Guard Base will also be included during the ceremony.

A unique 9/11 photographic exhibit is on display in the lobby of One Financial Plaza at 1350 Main Street in downtown Springfield through September 17. The exhibit shows 22 photographs tracing the progress of creating Springfield’s 9/11 Monument. From the arrival of the steel beam from New York City ten years ago, to the dedication of the monument at Riverfront Park in 2019.