Emergency response agencies plan 9/11 events to honor the fallen

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    By Clayton Chaney
    Staff Writer

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

    Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs emergency response agencies have a few memorial events planned to honor the fallen on Sept. 11.

    The events will start at 7:30 a.m. with a memorial 5k run/walk. Registration for the event opens the day of the run at 7 a.m.

    For those interested in participating, plan on arriving at Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) Station 1, located at 165 N. Pagosa Blvd. Event parking will be next door at Shanghai Chinese restaurant. Overflow parking will be located at Axis Health.

    The run will take place in the Pagosa Lakes area and end back at Station 1.

    There is no cost to sign up for the run. The run will start at the 9/11 memorial in front of Station 1.

    Complementary coffee and donuts will be offered. 

    At 9:30 a.m., there will be an emergency official vehicle cruise starting at Pagosa Springs High School and ending at the Veterans Memorial Park.

    At 10 a.m., memorial services will commence at Veterans Memorial Park. 

    PFPD Deputy Chief Karn Macht explained that the American Legion honor guard will perform a flag ceremony with a bugler and a rifle salute.

    The American Legion chaplain will also lead an invocation, followed by speeches from PFPD Chief Randy Larson, Pagosa Springs Police Chief Bill Rockensock and Archuleta County Sheriff Rich Valdez.

    There will also be a performance of “Amazing Grace” by a local community member, followed by a bell ceremony.

    The ceremonies are expected to be concluded at the Veterans Memorial Park by 10:35 a.m.

    “We just want people to remember and come join us,” Macht said.

    He also indicated that there will be plenty of parking available for the 5k run/walk and the ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial Park.

    In a later interview, Macht spoke more about the importance of remembering 9/11.

    “That was a very solemn day, knowing that the world would never be the same,” Macht said. “Every year its a remembrance for those who lost their lives and for all of them that gave their lives, trying to save the greater good. Hopefully at least on that day … you think life doesn’t last forever and sometimes you do difficult jobs to hopefully make a difference in life.”

    clayton@pagosasun.com