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Local ceremonies planned for 9/11


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The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 will be recognized in Havre by the local fire department and American Legion, which both have ceremonies and activities planned to commemorate the one-year anniversary.

Both events are planned as ways to remember and mourn the loss of all killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, and in United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

"We will remember" is the theme for the local American Legion's commemorative events.

The group is planning to ring a bell once at the exact time of each of the four plane crashes: 6:45 a.m. for American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center, 7:03 a.m. for United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower, 7:43 a.m. for American Flight 77 into the Pentagon, and 8 a.m. for Flight 93, which crashed in a field 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

"This ceremony will help us all to remember the sacrifices of those who died on Sept. 11," said Rick Wyer, American Legion Post 11 commander, in a press release. "We must remember those who continue to give of themselves daily while fighting for our freedom."

After the bell ringing, the group plans to hold a reception on the west lawn of the Hill County Courthouse at noon. Those who are scheduled to attend are Havre Mayor Bob Rice, Havre Police Chief Kevin Olson, the Havre High School band, Pastor John Chapman of First Baptist Church and others, the release said. All members of the community are encouraged by the American Legion to attend.

Dave Sheppard, Havre fire chief, said his department's plans for the anniversary involve a bell ringing, flag lowering and reception. The plans were sent to the Havre department from the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Sheppard said he heard of the idea in late July and that the Havre Fire Department decided to take part shortly after.

The commemoration will start at 7:45 a.m., when fire engines are rolled onto the driveway on the Fifth Avenue side of the Fire Department. At 8 a.m., members of the department and of the community will gather on the corner of Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue. Five minutes later, the fire bell will play a firefighters' mourning song to pay tribute to those who died in the collapse of the first World Trade Center tower.

The song is called the "Four Fives." It consists of five consecutive rings of the bell, done four times. The song dates back to the 19th century, Sheppard said, and is played in memory of a firefighter who dies in the line of duty.

At 8:06 a.m., the flag in front of City Hall will be lowered to half-staff.

At 8:28 a.m., the "Four Fives" will played played a second time, to commemorate the collapse of the second tower. One minute after, the flag will be raised to full-staff again, and a reception will take place with cookies and coffee in the fire hall.

The attacks hit home for all firefighters, Sheppard said, because of the unique relationship they have with each other.

"September 11 has a lot of meaning to our firefighters," he said today. "It is a brotherhood. It feels like we have lost members of our family."

Editor's note: Any other group that is planning to observe the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is asked to contact the Havre Daily News at 265-6795 or at [email protected]


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