If you need to plan the next few days and want to help commemorate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there are several events you might consider.
While commands based at Peterson Air Force Base will hold a ceremony on Friday, the public isn't invited, so we'll move on to those to which the public will be welcomed.
Fort Carson is hosting the 2011 Freedom Walk and Run at 6:30 a.m. Friday at Iron Horse Park.
The sixth annual run honors the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and serves as a renewal of our community's commitment to freedom. The event also pays tribute to all veterans, past and present.
The event will conclude with the unfurling of the Superflag, a 255 by 505 foot American flag designated "World's Largest Flag" by Guinness World Records.
The first Freedom Walk was held on Sept. 11, 2005 in Washington, D.C. and attracted more than 15,000 participants. Freedom Walks continue to be organized across the country on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The event is free and open to the public, with early registration available here.
At the Air Force Academy, two events are planned on Friday, the academy says in a press release.
The first, beginning at 4:45 p.m., will be the academy’s annual Homecoming Memorial Ceremony, honoring graduates who have died in the past year. Seventy-four academy grads will be recognized by having each name, the year of graduation and the last cadet squadron to which the grad was assigned called out. The current cadet squadron commander will then respond, “Absent, Sir.” The ceremony also will include the playing of "Taps" and a 21-gun salute.
Immediately following, at 5:30 p.m., a 9/11 Memorial Dedication Ceremony will be held during which a girder from the World Trade Center will be dedicated in tribute to those who died during the attacks. The girder is held up by two pieces of marble, parallel and vertical, that represent the twin towers. The base of the memorial is in the shape of a pentagon, inscribed with the words “World Trade Center,” “The Pentagon,” and “Shanksville, PA” to denote the three places attacked on 9/11.
The academy's release says:
The purpose of the memorial is to serve as a daily reminder to cadets, faculty and staff of the sacrifices made on 9/11 at the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and in Shanksville, and will be a reflection on the continued service and sacrifices made by military members, their families and first responders.
The ceremony will include remarks by Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, Academy superintendent, Mr. Don Addy, president of the National Homeland Defense Foundation, and Cadet Wing commander, Cadet First Class Samantha Reep.
The local community is welcome to observe both ceremonies from the wall adjacent to the Cadet Chapel.
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