In an expression of emotion that embodied the spirit of the day, 7-year-old Kelsey Burba runs to her grandmother after singing "God Bless America" during the Sept. 11 ceremony at Green Valley Park. "It's my grandma's favorite song," Kelsey said. The proud grandparents, Robert and Vickie Elisarraras were among hundreds of people who came to the community day of remembrance.
Ceremonies were held throughout the Rim country in remembrance of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Dozens of emergency vehicles drove along Beeline Highway in a procession to honor those who died.
Firefighters from Blue Ridge came with their vintage 1950 International fire truck in support of the community event called "A Day to Remember."
Civic and community leaders spoke words of comfort and honor from the gazebo at Green Valley Park and local children erected twin towers in the sand and a monument topped with the U.S. flag. Throughout the duration of the event, members of the local Civil Air Patrol stood at attention on the stage.
Musical tributes were provided by the Payson High School Band, Payson Choral Society, Payson Honor Choir, Rim Country Middle School 8th-grade advanced Bells, Kelsey Burba and Eric Landau on the bagpipes.
Miniature U.S. flags were provided by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW.