Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on America. Commemorating the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, is the magnet that will draw the residents of the Rim country to Green Valley Park tomorrow, as the event organized by Payson's American Legion Post 69 unfolds.
Between 5:45 and 7 a.m. Every Payson patrol car and fire engine will sound their sirens for 15 seconds to 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.).
Noon A procession of the town's law enforcement and emergency vehicles will begin at Payson's Town Hall, wind its way down the Beeline Highway, then west on Main Street to Green Valley Park.
1 p.m. At Green Valley Park, a crane will raise the American flag as the National Anthem is being played. Master of ceremonies Randy Roberson, will introduce Payson Mayor Ken Murphy, Payson Fire Chief John Ross, and Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner.
Following the guest speakers' remarks will be the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 209 Cadets of Payson Color Guard, and performances by the Payson High School Band and Honor Choir, the Payson Choral Society, Payson Regional Middle School's JuBELLations bell 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, 2002" from the Payson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9829. The Pepsi Company will also give a free soft drink to every child attending the ceremony.
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. A public prayer vigil will be held in Green Valley Park. Mayor Ken Murphy will offer welcoming remarks; local firefighters, law enforcement, military and clergy will participate; and Mary Goddard will officiate. A large turnout is expected, so it might be wise to plan for an early arrival.
The Payson Unified School District has designated Sept. 11 as "Red, White and Blue Day," and requests that all students dress in those colors.
All students who enter the Arts Festival Sept. 11 contest will receive an awards certificate signed by Mayor Ken Murphy. Awards for the four best entries from each school will be presented at the 1 p.m. Sept. 11 ceremony in Green Valley Park.
All Payson residents are urged to fly their American flags to show their patriotism.