Town Plans Memorial For Sept. 11


Exactly one year following the attack on America, residents of the Rim country will join the country by coming together in a commemoration ceremony to honor the victims of Sept. 11.

Coordinated across the nation by the American Legion and locally by Payson's American Legion Post 69, the event themed "A Day to Remember" is one of the first put into motion after Congress designated Sept. 11 "Patriot Day" on Dec. 18, 2001.

Its purpose is to honor the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, airline flight takeovers and the American military service personnel who have died in the battle against terrorism and ensure that the innocent victims will never be forgotten.

The observance will begin in the early morning of Wednesday, Sept. 11, when, event coordinator Lee Pretsch said, "at the four designated times that the planes hit, every patrol car, every fire engine, is going to sound their sirens for 15 seconds. It will be very impressive."

The sirens will commemorate the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center (5:45 a.m. local time), United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower of the World Trade Center (6:03 a.m.), American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon (6:43 a.m.) and United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh (7 a.m.).

Although the ceremony itself will be held nationally at noon, Payson's won't begin until 1 p.m., Pretsch said, "because some kids won't get out of school until 11:30 a.m. or noon, and we want all of the students involved. That will be a big factor to the success of this event."

Following a Main Street parade of the town's law enforcement and emergency vehicles, which are scheduled to reach Green Valley Park right at 1 p.m., a crane will raise the American flag as the national anthem is played.

The event's master of ceremonies, Randy Roberson, will then introduce the (as yet unselected) guest speakers, the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 209 Cadets of Payson Color Guard, and performances by the Payson High School Band and Honor Choir, bagpipe musician Eric Landau, and bugler Gil Gifford.

All attendees will receive a miniature American flag courtesy of the American Legion, and the first 1,000 who show up will be given a poppy with a black ribbon inscribed "Sept. 11, 2001" from the Payson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9829.

Later in the day, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., a public prayer vigil will be held in the park.

In the weeks leading up to Sept. 11, every child in the Payson school district will be asked to enter a contest that will allow them to express, through any art medium they choose, how they felt about the events of Sept. 11.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.