Simpson-Temple United Parish's theme for its seventh annual tribute to those who lost their lives Sept. 11, 2001, in the attacks on America is "Heroes Make a Difference."
Pastor Denise Arpino said the program, to be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at the church, 2212 Sixth Ave., will celebrate the hero in each individual.
Arpino said every year, the organizers consider a different aspect associated with the attacks. On that day, military personnel and emergency workers were heroes. She said there is "an innate nature in people to do good."
"When there is a crisis, people go and help," she said.
She said heroes can be people in high heels, business suits or tennis shoes and T-shirts.
During program breaks, she will talk about heroes and will mention some of the ways Altoonans are heroes, such as feeding the poor and the Gateway and the Nehemiah projects.
"If you recognize a need and respond to it, you are a hero," she said.
Speaker for the event will be Ed Root of Coopersville. His cousin was Lorraine Grace Bay, a flight attendant on United Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville.
Root said his dad and Bay's mom were siblings and the families were close, often getting together.
"She was 3 years older than me, and we were both only children. She was like an older sister to me in many ways," he said.
He said she became a flight attendant in the '60s when it was looked upon as a glamorous job when in reality, it was a lot of hard work.
"She was very personable and always pleasant," Root said.
He said Bay was her daughter's godmother and she would treat his daughter to shopping trips for her teenage birthdays.
In honor of Bay, his son and his wife gave their daughter her middle name, Grace, as her middle name.
Root has been active in establishing the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County and was one of the judges that selected the winning design.
He also served three years on the Board of Directors of the Families of Flight 93, including one year as board president. He is now a board member emeritus and continues to serve on committees.
The federal government announced earlier this week, it will pay about $9.5 million to acquire the final piece of land so the memorial can be built.
Root said it was critical to acquire the land so the dedication can occur Sept. 11, 2011.
A traveling display of the Flight 93 Memorial will be in the church narthex.
The tribute at Simpson-Temple will include the presentation of the colors, patriotic music and essays.