News From Terre Haute, Indiana

9/11: 10th Anniversary Coverage

September 9, 2011

9/11 Memorial Event to honor those killed in attacks

TERRE HAUTE — Late last year, Terri (T.J.) Coonce had a vision for a 9/11 memorial event.

Inspired by an uncle and cousin who had served in Afghanistan, she wanted to honor not only those killed in the terrorist attacks, but also all American service members who have since lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Sunday, that dream will be realized with the Wabash Valley 9/11 Memorial Event at Fairbanks Park. As part of the overall remembrance event, 9,200 tea candles will be lit to honor 9/11 victims and fallen members of the military, she said.

“This is about the people who are gone,” Coonce said. “We’re not forgetting.”

More recently, the city, county and several other groups have helped plan for the event, which includes a blood drive at 6 p.m. in conjunction with the Indiana Blood Center. A committee has been meeting for several weeks.

The program begins at 7 p.m. at the amphitheater and will include formal military and first-responder presentations, candle lighting, a balloon launch, speakers, music provided by an interdenominational choir and the Terre Haute Fire Department Pipe and Drum Corps. The program is expected to last about an hour.

Speakers are Mayor Duke Bennett, Vigo County Commissioner Judy Anderson, Fire Chief Jeff Fisher, Police Chief John Plasse, Dr. C. David Hay, Col. Chris Colbert and Congressman Larry Bucshon.

Patrick Fazio will serve as the master of ceremonies.

In the event of rain, the event will be conducted in the former Terre Haute Family “Y” building in the gym.

Those attending will be able to sign a banner showing support for the families of the World Trade Center 9/11 victims. The banner will be sent to a liaison in New York who works with those families.

To encourage people to sign the banner and donate blood, Coonce will give out glow-in-the-dark wristbands that say, “Never Forget,” while supplies last. She has 1,700.

As part of the memorial event, the public will be able to participate in lighting the tea candles, she said. She encourages those who are able to bring taper candles to help light the tea candles.

The 9/11 memorial event is a way “to show support for our country … and to remember that tragic day that changed all of our lives,” she said.

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9/11: 10th Anniversary Coverage
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