JOHN DAY - Houses of worship will join American Legion Post No. 77 and citizens of Grant County in commemorating Patriot Day on Sept. 11, 2002, by bell ringing followed by a minute of silence during the times of each of the four separate terrorist attacks on America last Sept. 11.
The bells will ring at approximately 8:45 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:43 a.m. and 10 a.m. Each ring commemorates the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center, United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower of the World Trade Center, American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
A noontime commemoration ceremony at Seventh Street Complex, coordinated by American Legion Post No. 77, will follow the bell ringing. It will honor the victims of the attack, emergency service and American military service personnel who have died in the battle against terrorism.
"This ceremony will help us all to remember the sacrifices of those who died on Sept. 11," Post Commander Art Pereira said. "We must also remember those who continue to give of themselves daily while fighting for our freedom."
Grant County emergency personnel will be honored at a social hosted by the Ellis Tracy Post No. 77 and Auxiliary from 5:30-7 p.m. at Seventh Street Complex. Anyone planning to attend is asked to RSVP Margaret "Peg" Hunter by calling 575-0132 or writing to 525 E. Main St., John Day, OR 97845.
"We will Remember" is the theme of The American Legion National Sept. 11 "Patriot Day" Commemoration. Participants will include local leaders, with a presentation of the Blue Star Corporate Flag to the City of John Day.
Congress passed Public Law No: 107-89 on Dec. 18, 2001, designating Sept. 11 "Patriot Day."
The 2.8 million-member American Legion, the nation's largest veterans organization, is coordinating a nationwide noontime commemoration of the attack on America. The American Legion moved to rekindle the Blue Star Service Banner tradition just before the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks. Those attacks created quick interest and understanding of the program, which recognizes families who have a loved one serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Blue Star Corporate Flag is an outgrowth of the banner program for government and businesses to show their support of military men and women serving in the war on terrorism. A flag will be presented to the mayor by the Legion commander during this event. The American Legion also created a Sept. 11 Memorial Scholarship Fund for children of U.S. military personnel killed on or after Sept. 11.