Blaine remembers 9/11 attacks

Published on Thu, Sep 5, 2002 by Meg Olson

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Blaine remembers 9/11 attacks

By Meg Olson

On September 11 Blaine will join in a national day of remembrance with celebrations at the Peace Arch and Blaine Marine Park.

A memorial service organized by the American Legion Post 247 will start at noon at the amphitheater in Blaine Marine Park. “We’re trying to get the community involved as much as possible,” said organizer Nils Dahlgren.

After opening remarks by city manager Gary Tomsic, acting as master of ceremonies, a local firefighter will ring a bell for the striking of the four fives. The old fire service tradition dates back to the 18th century when fire stations communicated by ringing their bells. “When a firefighter died in the line of duty they would transmit five bell strikes repeated four times,”
Dahlgren said. “Today it’s a form of rendering homage to fallen comrades.”
The legion color guard and the national anthem will follow the bell ringing
Families who have members in the armed forces, fire service and law enforcement will be recognized during the memorial service. There will also be prayers from local church ministers and several speakers, with mayor Dieter Schugt as the keynote speaker. “We will be presenting the city with a blue star banner for all the sons and daughters in the armed forces,” Dahlgren said. The banners, available from the legion, have a single blue star on a white field framed in red and are displayed in the windows of homes of those serving in the armed forces and their families. After playing taps, the legion color guard will close the ceremony by retiring the colors.

On the evening of September 11 U.S. Canada Peace Anniversary association will recreate the candlelight vigil they held on September 15, 2001. “We feel people got something so we’re trying to recreate the same spirit,” said organizer Christine Alexander.

In addition to speakers prayers and song, this year a memorial sculpture by Mount Vernon artist Pam Hom will be installed beside the Peace Arch.
Eerily, Hom was working on a sculpture of the New York skyline when the terrorist attacks took place. “The completion of the New York triptych was not without grief,” Hom said. New York for me is a reminder never to take anything for granted. Our freedoms, our loved ones and our resolves can disappear so quickly.” The piace will be installed beside the Peace Arch. “We’re trying to set it up so as the sun sets and the lights go on, the artwork will be projected against the arch,” Alexander said.

Agrippa Williams, who recently portrayed Paul Robeson will be the featured musical performer. Speakers include the U.S. consul general in Vancouver Luis Arreaga-Rodas and his Canadian counterpart in Seattle Roger Simmons. The event will close with moments of silence and candle-lighting. The public is invited to participate by bringing a candle to light or a single flower to place at the arch or the new memorial. Participants are also asked to dress in clothes that reflect their heritage as a symbol of cultural unity. The vigil is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.. .


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