The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

September 10, 2010

Parades of Lights: 9/11 tributes scheduled in Raleigh, Fayette

BECKLEY — To honor those who lost their lives nine years ago in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, emergency service providers in the area will host two Parade of Lights ceremonies Saturday. Both will start at 8 p.m.

In Fayette County, the third annual Parade of Lights is being held in conjunction with the Oak Leaf Festival. Starting at Hawks Nest State Park, the parade will go through Ansted, Hico, Fayetteville, Oak Hill, Glen Jean, Mount Hope and back to Oak Hill, ending up at the old Collins football field where a ceremony will be held. 

Mark Davis, Oak Leaf Festival committee member, said events like these are emotional, but he adds it’s a good way to remember and honor those who died.

“It’s a very emotional experience, but it’s a good thing,” he said. “We’re reading a list of the victims and some of the people who work for Jan-Care were either on the scene or witnessed this tragedy.”

A ceremony in Raleigh County, the ninth annual Parade of Lights/Memorial parade, will start at the same time, 8 p.m., at Food Lion in Sophia. The parade will travel along Robert C. Byrd Drive and end at Crossroads Mall, where a ceremony will be held. 

This year, there will be a special tribute to the 29 miners who lost their lives in the April explosion at Upper Big Branch. Miners and their families are invited to line the parade route in reflective mining clothing and shine miners’ lamps.

Last year, there were more than 90 emergency vehicles in the procession. This year, in addition to providers from Raleigh, Fayette, Wyoming and Summers counties, the invitation has been extended to statewide emergency services providers.

With the motto, “We will not forget,” the goal of the event is to enable the unity of all emergency service responders to pay respect to victims of 9/11 and honor miners who lost their lives in the UBB tragedy.

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