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9-11 ceremonies planned

September 9, 2011
By Ashley Rittenhouse - The Marietta Times ( , The Marietta Times

From candlelight vigils to memorial and worship services, there are plenty of events being held in the Mid-Ohio Valley meant to recognize the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

There will be a "Words of Hope, Words of Peace" service at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Marietta at 7 p.m. Sunday, during which Marietta Mayor Michael Mullen, officials from the Marietta police and fire departments, a former Pentagon worker and the church's pastor, the Rev. Steve Mahaffey, will speak.

"We're approaching it as a worship service with reflections being a major part of it," Mahaffey said. "Mine is on moments that are defining in our lives but how to move forward through those and not necessarily be defined by them."

There is also an event planned for Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. called "The Cost of Freedom," which will be held at Muskingum Park in Marietta. It is being organized by area churches, the Marietta 9-12 group and the Awakening America Alliance.

"Basically it's the community gathering together to honor and remember those who lost their lives and pray for their families, first responders, the nation and its leaders," said the Rev. Rodney Lord, of Valley Harvest Church in Marietta.

Lord is one of several pastors participating in the event. Parkersburg resident Terri Santiago, whose son, Chris, lost both legs while serving in the military in Iraq, will also speak. Additionally, there will be patriotic music and a 21 gun salute.

Fact Box

If you go

8:30 a.m. Sunday, candlelight prayer service, Gilman United Methodist Church, 312 Gilman Ave., Marietta.

11 a.m. Sunday, memorial service, Christy Mall, Marietta College, 215 Fifth St., Marietta.

11:45 a.m. Sunday, brief ceremony during the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival on the Ohio River levee.

2 p.m. Sunday, ceremony at the Wirt County Courthouse lawn, 1 Court Square, Elizabeth, W.Va.

3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, "The Cost of Freedom", Muskingum Park, Front Street, Marietta (if it rains, it will be moved to the Celebration Center, 822 Front St., Marietta).

7 p.m. Sunday, "Words of Hope, Words of Peace," St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 401 Scammel St., Marietta.

7:30 p.m. Sunday, ceremony at Bicentennial Park, Third and Market Streets, Parkersburg.

9 p.m. Sunday, candlelight vigil, Kremer Amphitheatre, Marietta College.

9 a.m. Monday, memorial service, Washington State Community College, 710 Colegate Drive, Marietta.

Even those who attend the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival will have a chance to attend a remembrance ceremony, according to festival director Cheri Seevers.

She said the ceremony will be held at 11:45 a.m. Sunday and will last about 20 minutes. Seevers will speak during the ceremony, as well as Rodney Lord, and local singer Jennifer Simmons will sing patriotic music.

Local colleges are also holding special events for the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Members of the Marietta College Republicans group will place 2,977 American flags, as well as flags provided by the student life office representing other more than 90 other countries impacted by the attacks, near the Kremer Amphitheatre on the campus.

Those flags will remain up during a candlelight vigil in the amphitheatre Sunday at 9 p.m. Also during that vigil, "Remember 9/11" buttons will be handed out and Rodney Lord will speak and lead a prayer.

"Our campus is multicultural and we have a number of people from other parts of the world and we wanted to show respect to everybody that lost a life that day," said Tom Perry, director of college relations at Marietta College, said about including the flags of many nations.

The decision was controversial on campus, with some students in favor of having only American flags. The event was never in danger of being canceled and the college provided the flags of other nations for the event, Perry said.

Sunday morning, members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity will hold a memorial service on Marietta College's Christy Mall, beginning at 11 a.m. Student senate president Ryan Nolen, of Belpre, is among those who will speak during the service.

Washington State Community College is also holding a special event to recognize the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

A memorial service will be held there Monday at 9 a.m., according to Elizabeth Godfrey, AmeriCorps College Guide.

"Staff Sergeant Gary McBride from the Ohio Army National Guard will be present to assist with the flag raising ceremony...we will be using a 'Flag of Honor' during the ceremony," she said. "It is created from the names of those who perished in the terrorist attacks and was generously donated by the Lowe's of Marietta."



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