9/11 memorial scheduled at local cemetery

On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the downing of a passenger airliner near Shanksville, Pa.

The death toll continued to climb years later when the first responders in New York City began dying of cancer and chemical exposure-related diseases, and members of the military were killed in the Middle East.

This Sept. 11, memorials for the people lost will be held at Warren County Memorial Park. The first will begin at 8:30 a.m., the same time as American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center; and the second at 6 p.m., to honor the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan as a direct result of the terrorist attack.

“Everything happened in two hours, and we kind of mirror that,” said Ruth Seebeck of Warren County Memorial Park.

In preparation for the memorials, volunteers will place 3,100 flags at the park beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, and 3,000 luminary buckets the following week at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.

“We will space the luminary buckets over one full mile, in memory of the veterans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the defense of the United States, where the death toll is in the neighborhood of 10,000,” she said.

Seebeck added, “We need volunteers for the two Saturdays, and donations of baked cookies would be most appreciated.”

The cookies and coffee will be served after the morning service, and members of the Eisenhower Middle/High School band will serve the refreshments before the evening service.

The use of six bleachers from ballfields has been donated by Warren Little League, and 400 chairs will be supplied by Starbrick, Youngsville, Russell and Pleasant volunteer fire departments.

Seebeck said, in past years, as many as 1,100 and as few as 500 people have attended.

The keynote speaker for the evening military service will be Lt. Col. Craig Mayer, U.S. Marine Corps, retired, who was serving in the Middle East when the attacks happened.

Several veterans from all conflicts, from World War II to the present, will be honored, and will receive certificates and a flag.