Events set for 9/11 weekend


The Champaign County community will mark 20 years of peace-building after the tragic events of 9/11.

There will be a service on Saturday, September 11 at Freedom Grove in honor of the 20th anniversary of Patriots Day. It will begin with a flag raising at 8:15 a.m. and will pay tribute to each event, moment by moment, from that unforgettable day. The remembrance ceremony will close with a 21-gun salute and a flyover.

Local connection to 9/11

September 11, 2021, will commemorate 20 years since the attack on the country that killed nearly 3,000 people including a local high school graduate named Alicia Nicole Titus, a flight attendant.

Alicia was truly a child of the community having attended school in Urbana in her early years and then Graham High School where she graduated in 1991. She attended Urbana University and then graduated with honors from Miami University.

Her parents, John and Bev, through the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, will be hosting events on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12 to honor Alicia, all first responders and the brave service men and women on this momentous occasion.

“Our hearts are also with our war veterans, their families and the Afghani people during this difficult time,” said Alicia’s parents.

The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Run/Walk will start and finish at Freedom Grove beginning at 9:03 a.m., after a moment of silence. Alicia’s plane, UAL 175, hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03:54 a.m. Both the Run and Walk will begin in front of the county community building at South Pointe, proceed south through a special line-up of firemen, policemen and sheriff’s deputies, along with fire vehicles from throughout Champaign County. They will be traveling the county and honoring the 412 deceased first responders with their presence through commensurate moments of silence.

The Run/Walk will proceed on the path around the 9/11 Memorial and the 5K participants will continue the run along High Street, through the Square and return on Main Street to Freedom Grove. The Alicia Peace Run/Walk will coincide with the event, “We Will Never Forget,” a 9/11 Remembrance, sponsored by the Rotary Club and coordinated by Jamie Shaffner and Craig Bennett, honoring 9/11 victims, military and first responders.

This will be the last scheduled Run for Peace. All are invited to support of the victims of 9/11, including Alicia, service men and women and first responders. Registration for the Run/Walk is online at: or in person from 8-8:50 a.m. at Freedom Grove. Live music and Kids for Peace activities will be held at Legacy Park on Monument Square afterwards, sponsored by the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund.

On Sunday, September 12 from 3-5 p.m. at The Urbana Christian Conference Center – located at 1778 state Route 29 – the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund will be hosting acclaimed spiritual leader, lecturer, New York Times best-selling author, 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and dear friend of the Titus family, Marianne Williamson.

“Marianne has graciously blessed us with her love and support since Alicia was killed,” Alicia’s parents said. “Her presence in our lives has helped us immensely throughout the past 20 years.” Bev and John will briefly reflect on their journey of grief and their efforts through the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund to work towards a more just and peaceful world.

The World House Choir under the direction of Catherine Roma will sing seven songs chosen specifically for this 20th anniversary of 9/11. An interpreter for people with hearing loss will be present. Mayor Bill Bean will welcome attendees to Urbana, the 140th International City of Peace. Refreshments will be included after the event. Due to the rise in COVID cases, social distancing and masks are highly recommended. Seats can be reserved at at For more information email Bev Titus at [email protected].

Pictured at Freedom Grove are Urbana Fire Chief Dean Ortlieb, Jamie Shaffner (co-organizer of the Patriots Day activities each year at Freedom Grove), John and Bev Titus and Rotarian Paul Waldsmith. at Freedom Grove are Urbana Fire Chief Dean Ortlieb, Jamie Shaffner (co-organizer of the Patriots Day activities each year at Freedom Grove), John and Bev Titus and Rotarian Paul Waldsmith. Submitted photo

Alicia Titus Titus Submitted photo

A schedule of events for 9/11 has been released. schedule of events for 9/11 has been released. Submitted photo

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