The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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September 10, 2013

Raleigh Parade of Lights to pass memorial on new route

Oak Hill also plans 9/11 Memorial Service

BECKLEY — A silent Parade of Lights, tribute to the fallen heroes and a memorial service to bring a community together to build will let residents of Fayette and Raleigh counties remember Sept. 11, 2001.

In Beckley the annual Parade of Lights will take a new route so it can pass the 9/11 memorial at Jim Word Memorial Park, Lt. Bryan Trump of Beckley Fire Department reported Monday.

The motorcade is an annual event honoring emergency first responders who lost their lives during the rescue effort at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York, after terrorists flew planes into the twin towers.

Some 150 vehicles from area fire departments, police departments, EMS and other emergency services will shine lights from the line-up at Food Lion in Sophia and while traveling north on Robert C. Byrd Drive.

The parade will take a right onto Neville Street past Word Park, where a piece of steel from the Trade Center rests, then North Kanawha Street before re-entering Byrd Drive at New River Town Center and traveling to Ragland Road to end at Epling Stadium.

“It’s just a reminder to everyone that we don’t forget all of our EMS, first responders, law enforcement and military that lost their lives that day,” said Trump.

The parade is the largest in southern West Virginia, according to local officials.

Responders from Raleigh, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, Boone, McDowell, Fayette, Nicholas and Greenbrier counties participated in 2012.

Trump said the mood among local first responders is reflective during the parade.

“Everybody has a different outlook on how they feel about things,” he reported. “Some are fortunate that they didn’t lose someone they know.

“The rest are humbled.”

Trump urged any first responders or military personnel who want to participate to contact him at 304-890-6310.

Vehicles must have lights to participate in the parade.

Line-up starts at the Sophia Food Lion at 7 p.m., and the parade leaves the lot at 8 p.m.

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In Oak Hill Wednesday evening, the fourth annual 9/11 Memorial Service at Collins Football Field on Central Avenue will focus on moving forward, said service coordinator and 9/11 Committee founder Lisa Tanner.

“Tragedy brings us together, but we want the remembrance to bring us together also,” said Tanner, who organized the first memorial service four years ago. “What we are trying to do is build.

“Three thousand plus lives were lost, but it wasn’t in vain,” she said. “They have to be remembered for the good things they did.

“So many were involved in their communities and had families.”

The event begins with a memorial walk on the football field at 8:30 p.m., and 12-year-old Caden Carr of Mountain View Christian School will sing the national anthem.

“We take two laps around the football field, two by two, to signify the twin towers,” said Tanner.

A candlelight service and recognition of local first responders who helped at Ground Zero will follow, she said.

Those who have served in the various branches of the military will be honored with pins, including those in Reserves and those who are retired.

At 9:11 p.m., a full minute of silence will honor the victims of 9/11.

The service is hosted in the evening to accommodate work schedules, and everyone is invited to attend, she added.

Tanner requested that everyone wear red to show patriotism.

Flags and candles are provided at the event, which is free of charge.

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