Wednesday Americans from the lakes area and across the globe will share a single thought.
They will remember the moment they heard of a plane striking the World Trace Center and still having the first fleeting moments of innocence as they thought it must be a mad accident.
Minutes later the truth was apparent and innocence was lost along with thousands of lives. It all happened so fast and yet it remains in eternal slow motion with billowing smoke, flame and death. New York City became America's city. The gaping and blackened Pentagon and a smoldering crater in Pennsylvania became hallowed ground.
Wednesday Americans will remember that day and all the days that followed. There will be tears, of course. The wound is still fresh. But there will also be pride. And included in the mix is a sense of American identity beyond our own ideological, cultural and social differences.
In a re-enactment of Thomas E. Franklin's photograph of three New York firefighters raising the U.S. flag in the World Trade Center debris after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Brainerd firefighters Steve Smolke (left), Fred Eiesland and Keith Stunek were shown during this year's Crosby Fourth of July parade. (Dispatch Photos by Clint Wood)
E pluribus unum, Latin for "One from many" has come to mean more than a dead language motto on a monetary unit. Wednesday the lakes area will have an opportunity to attend any number of ceremonies to mark this anniversary -- this day when Americans realized the world they knew had changed.
There are many observances. The Mahlum-Hanson VFW Post 1647 and Auxiliary in Brainerd is urging people to wear red, white and blue to work and school to show support for those lost on Sept. 11 and to honor the effort to save victims of the terrorist attacks. At noon, people are asked to stop what they are doing, place hands on hearts and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or say a prayer for the nation.
"If all of us do this together in every time zone around the world, we will have a powerful chain of thoughts surrounding us," VFW Americanism chairwomen Rose Robinson and Helen Doucette stated in a news release.
The area business community also thought about a way to reflect on the events of Sept. 11. Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce received a number of phone calls from members who wanted to find a positive way to mark the anniversary.
Chambers of commerce from the Brainerd lakes area, Nisswa, Pine River, Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point and the Cuyuna Range, the Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation and Mid-Minnesota Builders Association came together to encourage everyone in the business community to fly the flag and wear the colors.
"This unified effort will demonstrate your appreciation of the freedom and rewards you enjoy as business leaders in our great country," Lisa Paxton, Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce CEO stated in a news release. "We're proud to represent you as business organizations in the Lakes area. Your efforts ensure that America will continue to be the leader of the free world."
On the state level, Gov. Ventura and First Lady Terry Ventura will lead a state memorial at the Capitol called Minnesota Remembers: One Year Later. Events include planting of an elm tree on capital grounds, presentations and an a cappella performance of the National Anthem.
Area Sept. 11 events include:
* 7:30 a.m. -- Remember the Heroes program at Cass County Courthouse. Program includes recognition of public safety agencies, observance and flag raising.
* 7:46 a.m. -- State asks for moment of commemoration and remembrance with sounding of sirens and church bells. A minute of church bells and sirens will be followed by a moment of silence. Minnesotans are asked to drive with vehicle headlights on throughout the day in recognition of Minnesota first responders, police, fire and emergency personnel.
* 8:30 a.m. -- Community tribute to fallen heroes at the Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, Washington Street in Brainerd. Community members invited to join flag-raising and lowering ceremony. Brainerd American Legion members will raise the flag and several members of the Brainerd High School band will lead attendees in singing the Star Spangled Banner. A moment of silence will be observed at 8:47 a.m. Ribbons will be distributed.
* 9 a.m. -- Riverside Elementary School honors heroes in the community, military, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical staff. The event is in the school's gym. Emergency personnel will be honored with a commemorative plaque. Patriotic songs will be sung by the choir and school students. The event includes a moment of silence, pledge and Color Guard from the VFW and American Legion. Attendees are encouraged to wear red, white and blue. Contact Cathy Engler.
* 9 a.m. Commemorative service at St. Francis Catholic Church sponsored by the Juniper Ecumenical Ministries -- First Congregational United Church of Christ, Park United Methodist Church, St. Francis and St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
* 10 a.m. -- Hallett Community Center memorial service in Crosby at community center.
* 11:35 a.m. -- A memorial event Remember the Heroes is also planned at the Metrodome before the 12:05 p.m. Twins game. Twins broadcaster Dick Bremer is master of ceremonies. The event includes a 9/11 video remembrance, parade of First Responder's Honor Guard and Minnesota Pipe and Drums, dedication of permanent banner, ceremonial first pitches with New York firefighter Danny Prince, Edina Police officer Mike Blood and a civilian hero, prayer service, moment of silence and national anthem.
* Noon -- Nisswa American Legion host Remembrance Ceremony Patriot Day: A Day to Remember 9/11.
* 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. University of Minnesota students will have a special program on the Northrop Plaza.
* 6 p.m. -- Youth Ministries of Park United Methodist Church will host a Service in Remembrance by the Gregory Park fountain. The service is for all churches and ages and will be over before the music program at Tornstrom Auditorium later in the day. In case of rain, the service will be in the church.
* 6:15 p.m. -- A special service of Remembrance and Hope is set at First Lutheran Church in Brainerd. The Holden Evening Prayer service will focus on thoughts for the needs of the world, nation and community.
* 7 p.m. -- Ecumenical community service of prayer and remembrance, Pillager High School main gym. Local heroes -- firefighters, law enforcement and medical rescue personnel -- will be recognized during the service.
* 7 p.m. -- A Community Service of Remembrance at Emily Wesleyan Church on Highway 6 in Emily. The public is invited to attend. Emily Volunteer Firefighters and First Responders will represent their fallen comrades during the service. Mayor Buddy Lund and others will also participate.
* 7:30 p.m. -- Lakes Area Senior Singers perform "Lest We Forget" patriotic concert at Tornstrom Auditorium.
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