Boy Scout Troop 354 will honor those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks by holding a flag retirement ceremony Sunday evening.
"The Boy Scouts is one of the few groups that will still ceremonially retire flags," said scoutmaster Alex Romberger. "We are inviting the fire and police departments to come and join us in this final salute to the flags."
The Boy Scouts retire flags as a community service. Romberger said that as a scout leader, he is often given old flags to retire. The troop picked the 9/11 anniversary to commemorate those who showed valor on that unforgettable September day four years ago.
"This is a very important day in U.S. history," said Lenore White, who handles publicity for the troop. "We wanted to make sure the day does not go unnoticed."
The flag-burning ceremony will be held at the fire ring on the grounds of the Mount Cross Lutheran Church at 601 E. Highway 260, just west of the Giant gas station.
"We plan to sing patriotic songs and have a bugler blow taps," Romberger said. "We will then make a final salute to the flags and place them into the fire to be retired."
The ceremony will begin at sundown, about 7 p.m., but Romberger encourages arriving about 6:15.
Additional 9/11 remembrance
The Payson Patriotic Events Committee is planning a two-phase Sept. 11 commemoration, said organizer Bill Sahno, retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel.
"First, we are encouraging everyone to attend a place of worship, pray for peace and for the hasty return of our troops," Sahno said. "Second, we have established an Honor Guard Watch of police, fire, veterans, and other representatives who will be present at the Green Valley Park Veterans Memorial from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11."
Recorded patriotic music will play in the background. A table with items that symbolize the 9/11 tragedy will be on display, as will a symbolic eternal flame.
The honor guard will be on hand to explain and discuss the display with visitors.
"This is a somber occasion and we want people to reflect in their own quiet way," Sahno said. "This is not a celebration. It's a somber time and we have a lot of somber thinking to do."
Sahno encourages residents to "take a small slice of their time" and visit the park