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Myriad of Sept. 11 tributes planned

By JEAN HAYES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 8, 2002

Ceremonies to mark the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are scheduled throughout Hernando County this week.

Among them is a community ceremony planned by the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District, which will remember the New York City firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

"It's our way of showing we care," Fire Chief J.J. Morrison said.

Delbert Gibson, commander of American Legion Post 99 of Brooksville, also taking part in an event, said Americans must not forget Sept. 11.

"It is now one year since the tragic events that ended the lives of thousands of innocent victims," Gibson said. "The sites have been cleared, but the scars remain. The people of Hernando County and the entire nation must show that we have become stronger in our will to protect and preserve our precious liberties. We must show that we remain committed to pursue those responsible."

Here is a summary of community events planned. A number of churches and schools have also scheduled events. The church events ran in Saturday's Times. School events will be published Tuesday.

American Legion Post 99, along with the Hernando County Commission and the city of Brooksville, will have a Patriot Day Commemoration at noon Wednesday in front of the Hernando County Courthouse, 20 N Main St., Brooksville.

Earlier in the day, bells will ring throughout the community at 8:45 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:43 a.m. and 10 a.m. to mark the times of the crashes of the four planes.

The program, expected to last about 90 minutes, will include prayer; special recognitions; the posting of colors; and remarks by city, county, military, American Legion and emergency response officials.

For those unable to attend, the program will be shown live on cable Channel 19 with subsequent rebroadcasts. For information, contact the Hernando County community relations office at 540-6780.

Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582 will have a candlelight ceremony at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the lodge, 14494 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville. For information, call 596-2582.

The Hernando High Point Volunteer Fire Department and the High Point Property Owners Association will have a remembrance service at the High Point Community Center, with activities beginning at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The event will be in conjunction with a nationwide remembrance. Firefighting apparatus will be displayed outside at 9:45 a.m. Participants will assemble in front of the flagpole at 10 a.m., and the flag will be lowered to half staff at 10:06 a.m., about the time the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

The recognition service will run from 10:07 to 10:28 a.m., with bells and siren sounding at the time the North Tower collapsed. The flag will be raised at 10:29 a.m.

For information, contact John W. Conaway Jr., department chief, at 596-5338.

Hernando-Pasco Hospice will have a 30-minute public memorial on its campus at 12260 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill, beginning at 8:46 a.m. Wednesday, about the time the first airplane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

For those unable to attend, hospice will place a temporary memorial at the gazebo on the Hospice House grounds that day. Individuals interested in spending time to reflect privately on the day or to remember a special person are invited to visit the memorial.

A Hernando-Pasco Hospice bereavement counselor will be available in the office following the ceremony until 4:30 p.m. for anyone requesting assistance. For information, call 597-1882.

The LifeSouth Community Blood Center, 12395 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill, will hold "A Time of Remembrance" blood drive during September.

On Wednesday, donors may join LifeSouth for a special day of remembrance blood drive between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. LifeSouth will provide a flag for each donor and encourage them to place it in front of the blood bank around the flagpole.

At 9:30 a.m., American Legion Post 186 will conduct a flag ceremony, and the Springstead High School band will perform.

NYCPD Hernando 10-13 Retired Officers Club will hold tribute during their regular monthly meeting, which falls on Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. at the VFW Post 10209, 15166 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. The public is welcome. Call Tony DeMarzo 686-8238.

The Spring Hill Fire Rescue District will have a public remembrance ceremony Wednesday for the New York firefighters who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. The service will be at Fire Station 2, 3445 Bob Hartung Court, in Spring Hill.

At 10:05 a.m., about the time the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, the alarm "5-5-5-5" will be sounded, and the flag will be lowered to half staff. The names of the 343 fallen firefighters will be read.

At 10:28 a.m., about the time the North Tower collapsed, the alarm "5-5-5-5" again will be sounded.

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the flag of fallen New York firefighter Martin De Meo will be flown for the rest of the day at the request of De Meo's father-in-law, a Spring Hill resident.

Department chaplains will be on hand to assist with the service.

The department asks that anyone planning to attend call 688-5030, so the fire department can estimate how many seats will be needed.

Anyone who lost a loved one and would like to be part of the service should call fire Chief J.J. Morrison at 688-5030.

The Hernando County Family YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, will have a 5K Memorial Run/Walk (or 1-mile walk/run) beginning at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a brief prayer service and continental breakfast at the Y.

Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent will lead the runners into the Seven Hills community, and personnel from Spring Hill Fire Rescue will follow the racers to the end.

All participants and spectators are invited to come to the Y after the race to remember all who lost their lives on Sept. 11.

The Y plans to make the run/walk an annual memorial event.

Advance registration is requested. To register or for information, call 688-9622.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point will honor firefighters and rescue, emergency management and law enforcement personnel in Hernando and Pasco counties by serving them a free meal Wednesday at the Shoreline cafeteria near the front entrance to the hospital, 14000 Fivay Road, Hudson (one block east of U.S. 19 and Hudson Avenue).

Any firefighter, rescue personnel, emergency management personnel, law enforcement personnel or security officer who comes in wearing a uniform, or who show their badge if they are not in uniform, will be served.

The times are: 2:30 to 3:45 a.m., dinner; 7 to 9:30 a.m., breakfast; 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., lunch; and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., dinner.

Everyone is also invited to attend a memorial service the medical center will have at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria.

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