USS Constitution, the USS Constitution Museum, and Boston National Historical Park will commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a full day of programming as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Designated by Congress on April 21, 2009, this day honors the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by encouraging Americans to unite in service and volunteerism throughout their community.
REMEMBRANCE At 9 a.m. ET, an outdoor memorial ceremony led by USS Constitution’s Commanding Officer John Benda will include the reading of names of those killed in the attacks. The ceremony will feature remarks by CDR Robert S. Gerosa, Jr., USN (Ret.). CDR Gerosa served as commanding officer of USS Constitution from 2015 to 2017. At the time of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Gerosa was the Combat Information Center officer and assistant operations officer on board the guided missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61). Ramage was the first ship in the Atlantic Fleet to sortie off the East Coast of the United States to provide extended radar coverage for Washington D.C. and New York City. USS Constitution crew will fire a salute and play taps to commemorate key moments from the morning of September 11, 2001.
At 11:00 a.m., USS Constitution is scheduled to go underway into Boston Harbor with Medal of Honor recipients. The public is invited to give these heroes a patriotic send off from Pier 1 in the Charlestown Navy Yard or view the Ship underway from the Boston Harborwalk or Castle Island. Other highlights of the underway will include a 21-gun salute toward Fort Independence on Castle Island at approximately 12:30 p.m. followed by a 17-gun salute at approximately 1:30 p.m. toward U.S. Coast Guard Base Boston, the former site of USS Constitution’s launch on October 21, 1797. The Ship will reopen for free public exploration from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
SERVICE All visitors to the Museum that day will have a chance to give back to local veterans by writing a thank you card and packaging it with a lifesaving paracord bracelet. The bracelets and letters will be distributed to Vietnam War veterans in New England by Operation Gratitude. This is an outdoor drop-in activity and all ages are welcome to participate. The Museum will be open extended hours from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on September 11, 2021.
From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the public is invited to volunteer with the USS Constitution Museum and Operation Gratitude to help assemble 1,000 Recruit Graduate care pouches for new Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. The care pouches will include personal hygiene items, snacks, a paracord bracelet, and a handwritten thank you note. Volunteers can sign up for one of two 3-hour shifts from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Advanced registration is required at
“These care packages are one small way we can remind new service members and veterans that Americans across the nation, and right here in Boston, appreciate their service and sacrifice,” said USS Constitution Museum President & CEO Anne Grimes Rand. “We’re honored to partner with Operation Gratitude to show our support to those who bravely serve our country.”
For more information about these activities or to register to volunteer, visit
The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of “Old Ironsides” and those associated with her. This award-winning non-profit provides an environment where inter-generational groups seeking an enjoyable and educational experience can have fun while learning and exploring history together. The Museum’s mission is to engage all ages in the story of Constitution to spark excitement about maritime heritage, naval service, and the American experience. For more information, visit usscm.org.
About USS Constitution
USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. She played a crucial role in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, actively defending sea lanes from 1797 to 1855. During normal operations, the active-duty Sailors stationed aboard Constitution provide free tours and offer public visitation as they support the Ship’s mission of promoting the Navy’s history and maritime heritage and raising awareness of the importance of a sustained naval presence. USS Constitution was undefeated in battle and destroyed or captured 33 opponents.