|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Saturday, 11 September 2010 00:00|
It was nine years ago that America was attacked by terrorists in hijacked passenger planes. In the days following the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, the devastation at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and the loss of life in Pennsylvania, Americans came together in a way not seen since.
Every year since then, it has been the mission of the American Legion David C. Johnson Post No. 93 in Camp Verde to take a moment on the anniversary of those attacks to remind the community exactly what it was that fostered that sometimes seemingly fleeting moment of unity.
This year is no different. This Saturday, Sept. 11, members of the legion, the legion auxiliary and other figures in the community will once again gather to pay their respects to the nearly 3,000 men and women who lost their lives that day and the thousands of American servicemen and women who went to war on behalf of their country in the years since.
Traditionally, the event has been held at the ramada off of Hollamon Street behind the town gym. This year, Sept. 11 falls on a Saturday, and the ramada will be in use by the Camp Verde Farmers Market and a scheduled meet-and-greet with new town manager Russ Martin.
While the Legion was a little surprised it wouldn’t have the ramada this year, the ceremony location hasn’t been moved that far away.
The gathering will be at noon at the gazebo downtown off of Main Street, between the Camp Verde Parks and Recreation and Public Works building and the Camp Verde Historical Society.
“We’re going to go before the Town Council at the first of the year,” Post No. 93 Second Post Cmdr. Jackie Hoover said. “We’re going to try and make sure that the ramada will be available every Sept. 11 from now on, no matter what day of the week it is or whatever else is going on.”
This might make the event slightly different, as traditionally the local fire chief has used the bell at the ramada, set in concrete, to honor fallen firefighters with a special ceremony called “Striking the Four Fives,” a series of tones that used to announced that a firefighter had fallen in duty.
“It’s really important,” said Clayton Young, interim chief at the Camp Verde Fire District.
Typically, the post commander leads the organization of what’s come to be called the Patriots Day ceremony, but current Cmdr. Tom Dimock isrecovering from serious burn injuries. The Legion is hosting a benefit for Dimock on Sunday, Sept. 26.
In the meantime, other members have stepped up to conduct the ceremony said Ron Embly, a past commander, including Cmdr. Pro Tem Marge Fela.
Other officials have been invited to speak, including Camp Verde Mayor Bob Burnside, representatives from local law enforcement and other first-responder agencies and members of the legion itself who will share their thoughts and opinions on America and the attacks of 9/11.
The colors will be posted, a rifle salute will be fired, and eventually people will go their separate ways following the ceremony. But the legion will be there to make sure that they never forget and never lose sight of the impact still felt by the events of that Tuesday morning nearly a decade ago.
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