Communities plan ceremonies for September 11

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(Host) Vermonters will mark the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in a variety of ways.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports.

(Zind) There’s no single way communities and organizations are setting out to mark September 11. The International Association of Firefighters has laid out a very specific set of suggestions for how it’s members could mark the moments when the attacks began and when the towers fell. Steve Locke of the Hartford Fire Department heads the Professional Firefighters of Vermont.

(Locke) “Here in Hartford, we’re going to do the sounding of the alarm at 8:46, the time of the first attack and then the lowering of the flag at the time the first tower fell.”

(Zind) Locke says Vermont’s fulltime firefighters met last week and decided it was best to tailor their activities to the community, rather than follow specific guidelines:

(Locke) “We encouraged all our members to take part in their own local events and to make their departments a better place. To remember the fallen firefighters from that day.”

(Zind) Locke says fire departments will take part in simple commemorations in some communities and more elaborate observances in others. He says Burlington is planning a procession down Church Street, led by an honor guard and a riderless horse.

Firefighters and police officers will help students plant trees around a flagpole at the College of St. Joseph’s in Rutland. There will also be a brief ceremony Wednesday morning at the College. Dr. Frank Miglorie is president of St. Joseph’s. Miglorie says the attacks last year inspired a spirit of volunteerism among students that he wants to keep alive:

(Miglorie) “We’re going to focus not so much on the tragedy, but really the human response in this country to such a negative occurrence, where we saw people unifying and supporting one another. And not just simply sending contributions, but actually wanting to get involved, wanting to commit themselves to some service to help others.”

(Zind) Many of the state’s public schools are also planning events on September 11.

(McNamara) “It’s been a topic of discussion among the administrators. Clearly we want we want to do something, we want to do it in a way that’s sensitive to the enormity of that day.”

(Zind) Superintendent Bob McNamara of the Lamoille North district says students will help erect a flagpole at the district’s new middle school.

(McNamara) “Some of the other schools are discussing the idea of having, helping people in the community come into the school and talk about the roles that they have in helping their community. Because that was such an important part in getting thorough September 11.”

(Zind) Two well-known speakers will be in Vermont on the eve of September 11. Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel will visit Middlebury Collge to give an address entitled “Reflections on September 11 One Year Later.” And New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman will speak on The Global Economy and U.S. Foreign Policy after September 11 at St. Michael’s College.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

Learn more about events around the state at this web site.

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