Candlelight ceremony set Thursday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

The victims of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 will be remembered this year in Suffolk at a special service. More than 3,000 American flags each bearing the name of a victim of that disaster will mark the shape of the Twin Towers when the flags are placed at the historic Seaboard Train Station on North Main Street this Thursday.

Donna Perry, president of the Citizens Academy Alumni of Suffolk (CAAS), the organization sponsoring the event, said the flags are being sold at cost, $1 each.


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&uot;We are doing this as a memorial to all the people who died in the terrorist attacks on nation,&uot; said Perry. &uot;We ask that citizens of Suffolk donate $1 for a flag with 100 percent of the proceeds to be donated to the Suffolk Fire Department. The funds will be used to outfit a new rescue truck.&uot;

Those who contribute will be given a ticket with the name of a victim imprinted on it. Each flag will be imprinted with the corresponding name, with the flags placed on display at 7 p.m. Thursday. The ceremony is open to the public.

&uot;This is to be a candlelight memorial service and think it will be especially moving to all who attend,&uot; said Perry. &uot;In addition to the flag ceremony, we will present &uot;America Attacked,&uot; the short film about the devastation in New York. We will also have special music, guest speakers and refreshments will be served.&uot;

Cindy Clark, a member of CAAS who is assisting Perry with this project, said that once the memorial service is over, the flags will be given to each person holding a ticket with a victim’s name on it.

Perry also said this project is co-sponsored by CAAS, the City of Suffolk, and Suffolk’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

&uot;We hope that everyone will come out to this event; not only in memory of 9-11, but also in support of our local firefighters who do such a wonderful job of protecting our city,&uot; she said. &uot;We even had several firefighters who went to New York during the tragedy and they could tell anyone of the devastation they saw there. This event marks a time to remember and a time to show respect for those who died in the events of 9-11. It’s also a time to show our support of our local fire and safety personnel.&uot;

This is the second candlelight ceremony Perry has put together in an effort to raise funds for the fire department. Working with Oxford United Methodist Church in June, she helped raise money to buy a &uot;Glassmaster&uot; for the fire department. As she noted, it will take much more than that to outfit the rescue vehicle and the 9-11 ceremony will continue the fundraising efforts.

Perry, a resident of Highland Avenue, earned the &uot;Citizen of the Year&uot; award for her dedication to public service and especially to the public safety personnel of this city. Together with her fianc, Chuck Fisher, they manage to pull off many such events with joint cooperation of many of this city’s agencies including Parks and Recreation.

For more information on Thursday evening’s events, or to donate $1 for a flag, call Perry at 934-3484.