Local events to commemorate Sept. 11

PARKERSBURG — A number of programs are being held this week to mark the 17th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

∫ West Virginia University at Parkersburg will hold its annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the flagpole in front of the main building in commemoration of the events of 9/11 and to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces and as first responders.

“We invite the community to join us for this special event to remember all of the military servicemen and women and first responders who have dedicated their lives in service to our nation,” said Michael Dooley, student program advisor for the Veterans Resource Center at WVU-P.

WVU-P student veterans will raise the flag, while additional students, staff and faculty will ring the college bell 17 times, with each ring counting the total years since 9/11/01.

Jeff Sandy, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, will serve as the guest speaker for Tuesday’s event. Sandy has a distinguished career in law enforcement and public service. In addition to serving as a special agent in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Criminal Investigation Division for 25 years, he volunteered to assist counter-terrorism efforts in the wake of 9/11 and served one term as the elected sheriff of Wood County. He is both a certified fraud examiner and a certified anti-money laundering specialist.

Following the ceremony, WVU-P will host Sandy for a presentation entitled “The Puzzle of 9/11” at 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. in the college theater. He will discuss the events leading to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the aftermath, how the attacks were funded and the process he led to track down Saddam Hussein’s money train. Both sessions are free and open to the public.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the College Activities Center.

∫ Students at Parkersburg High School will hold a 9/11 memorial service at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in remembrance of the lives lost to the terrorist attacks in 2001, which occurred in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

The ceremony has become an annual event for the school and a way to honor the memories of those lost during the Sept. 11 attacks. Parkersburg native Mary Lou Hague, a 1992 PHS graduate, was a research analyst on the 89th floor in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center when terrorists flew a plane into the building.

The ceremony will be held at the flag pole in front of the school and is sponsored by the Parkersburg High School Student Council. Students can begin gathering at 7 a.m. and the horseshoe will be closed to vehicle traffic at 7:20 a.m., re-opening after the ceremony.

Student council members will be giving a presentation. The PHS A Cappella Choir will perform the National Anthem and the school’s alma mater. Organizers said members of local police and emergency departments have been invited to attend.

∫ In Marietta, Washington State Community College will hold a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday on the front lawn of the college’s campus on Colegate Drive. Local veterans will present an honor guard and flag raising ceremony, along with guest speakers.

∫ In Jackson County, the Ripley Baptist Temple will hold its 17th annual “Ripley Remembers 9-11” memorial service at 7 p.m. Tuesday on the lawn of the Jackson County Courthouse in Ripley.

The program will include a flag ceremony, a rifle salute, patriotic music, prayer, the playing of “Taps” and other activities with local veteran, military and emergency service groups. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Ripley Baptist Temple Auditorium at the corner of Third Avenue and Charleston Drive in Ripley. For more information call Ripley Baptist Temple at 304-372-3413 or email at RipleyBaptistTemple@frontier.com.