Free Event Marks 9/11 Anniversary with Houston Premiere of “REBIRTH”

Houston, TX - August 29, 2011

On the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy, millions of Americans will reflect on the lives of the people lost that day and in the years since, the rebirth and survival of those directly affected by the attacks and the resiliency of a nation to turn great loss into cultural unity.

In honor of the 2,976 who lost their lives, their families and the emergency responders who helped the nation recover, the Dignity Memorial network, has partnered with Project Rebirth, the City of Houston, Interfaith Ministries, Houston Grand Opera, Crisis Intervention and the Houston Police Department to present "Houston Remembers 9/11" at Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney St., Houston, 77010, on Sept. 9, 2011, at 7 p.m.

In the spirit of healing and survival, the evening will feature the Houston premiere of Project Rebirth’s documentary film, REBIRTH, (screener copies and digital trailers available upon request) at 8:15 p.m. From early 2002 through 2009, the REBIRTH film crew chronicled the lives of five people directly affected by 9/11. The participants include a survivor from an impact floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC); a firefighter who survived the collapse of the WTC but lost his best friend; a high school student who lost his mother; a young woman who lost her fiancé; and a construction worker who lost his brother, assisted with recovery efforts, and is presently helping to build the Freedom Tower. Their narratives are the thread of recovery and resiliency from grief, loss and trauma that comprise the unique message of the film.

REBIRTH simultaneously tracks - via unprecedented multi-camera time-lapse photography - the evolution of the former WTC and the entire rebuilding of the site. Though the film captures the minute-by-minute demolition and redevelopment of the WTC site until 2009, Project Rebirth will continue the time-lapse element of the project until the site is completed in its entirety.

According to Service Corporation International CEO and President Tom Ryan, "We are proud to have joined with the many other supporters of Project Rebirth, a national non-profit organization that is researching how traumatic grief affects people and helping train emergency responders and community-based agencies to counsel victims of large-scale natural or other disasters. This brilliant film reminds us that our friends and families who survive or lose loved ones as a result of extreme tragedy need our support for many, many years after the event itself," he added.

Prior to the REBIRTH screening, a series of tribute performances and remarks will be made on the Discovery Green stage. The Houston Police Department will begin the evening at 7 p.m. with a procession led by HPD Chief Charles McClelland and the HPD Honor Guard. A group of nearly a dozen prominent faith leaders will share their joint sentiments, followed by a 30-minute performance of Houston Grand Opera’s "Pieces of 9/11, Memories from Houston," a song cycle by renowned composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. Commissioned as part of the HGOco Song of Houston project, the work commemorates those Houstonians who were affected by-and responded to-the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

Immediately following the conclusion of the film, as the lights are still dimmed, members of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets’ Ross Volunteers will fire a rifle volley, followed by the playing of "Taps" and a candlelight vigil for anyone who wishes to participate.

Everyone is invited to remember and celebrate the lives of those lost at by signing the Guest Book. Originally launched in Sept. 2001, the Guest Book has received more than 6 million visitors and more than 200,000 entries.

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