Observance to honor those who serve

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An observance remembering 9/11 and honoring those who serve and protect will be held Sept. 11 on the Crawford County Courthouse lawn in downtown Van Buren.

Sponsored by the Crawford County National Day of Prayer, the 911 memorial and call to prayer will begin at noon.

Speaker will be Dale Brunk, a survivor of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Brunk was on the 61st floor of one of the towers when American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center. Within two hours, both towers collapsed with debris and the resulting fires causing partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the WTC complex, as well as major damage to ten other large surrounding structures.

The Sept. 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists so they could be flown into buildings in suicide attacks.

A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon, leading to a partial collapse in its western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was targeted at Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pa., after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers.

In total, almost 3,000 people died in the attacks, including the 227 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes. It also was the deadliest incident for firefighters in the history of the United States.

Crawford County Judge John Hall will give the welcome for the local 911 memorial. Master of ceremonies will be David King. Dr. Jeffrey Hamby will perform the National Anthem.

Prayers will be offered by Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman for city employees; Chief Kenneth Bell, police; Capt. Marvin Stout, firefighters; Hamby, medical; Maj. Mike Akins, Army; Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Holcomb, Marines; Lt. Col. Tom Smith, the chaplain for the 188th Fighter Wing, Air Force; Cmdr. Mike Cheetham, Navy; and Col. Wes Hilliard Sr., chaplain for the Arkansas National Guard, emergency management, search and rescue and pastors.

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