Tributes to commemorate 9/11 anniversary

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The Greenfield Veterans Honor Guard stands in formation for the 2017 Sept. 11 commemoration in the Living Alley in downtown Greenfield. File photo

HANCOCK COUNTY — Two events will commemorate 9/11 in Hancock County — paying tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and the first-responders who paid such a heavy toll.

Friday marks the 19th anniversary of the day hijackers crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and a third plane into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth plane crashed into the ground in southern Pennsylvania after passengers fought hijackers on board.

It is the largest terrorist attack to ever take place on American soil.

“It’s important to remember what happened and the individuals that lost their lives that day,” said Butch Miller, a member of the New Palestine American Legion and 40&8 Voiture.

At noon Friday, New Palestine American Legion Post 182 will conduct a memorial service at the Southern Hancock Veterans Memorial, located in Sugar Creek Township Park on South County Road 700W, just south of U.S. 52.

The ceremony will include the raising of the flag, the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner,” an invocation by a chaplain and a 21-gun salute.

After the noon event, Miller will be among dozens of veterans attending the Hometown Heroes tribute taking place in downtown Greenfield later that day.

The sixth annual Hometown Heroes event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in the Living Alley, just southwest of the corner of State and North streets.

The Greenfield Veterans Honor guard will lead a tribute which includes presenting the flag, a 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps” and singing of patriotic songs.

After the ceremony, members of Greenfield American Legion Post 119 will present awards to local first-responders who have showed exemplary dedication in their fields. A new category was added to the annual awards lineup this year to recognize an outstanding local health-care worker. (See related story on Page A1.)

Miller said the annual Hometown Heroes event is a great blending of various veterans organizations, representing not only multiple organizations but honoring all walks of first-responders as well.

“It’s my experience that it’s rather unique for a community such as Greenfield to have veterans groups like the VFW, American Legion, Amvets, Marine Corps League and 40&8 Voiture 1415 to join together for an event like this,” Miller said.

“The organizations that do these things elsewhere, if they do them at all, usually do them independently, and that’s one of the things that makes the community of Greenfield just that much more attractive to people like myself,” he said.

Miller has a long history of promoting veterans affairs. He works at the American Legion’s state headquarters and served as the Legion’s national commander in 1998 and 1999.

He’s also worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Miller said next year’s 9/11 tributes nationwide will be bigger than ever before, since it will mark the 20th anniversary.

“It is also going to be a very big event in and around Indianapolis, because there are some big plans in store at and around the 9/11 memorial downtown,” Miller said.

On Friday, American Legion posts from across Indiana will present a $50,000 donation for a planned expansion of the downtown Indianapolis memorial, at 421 W. Ohio St.

The presentation will kick off fundraising efforts for the $450,000 needed to enhance the memorial, which was dedicated in 2010 to the first- responders and people who perished in the 9/11 attacks.

The memorial features parts of two steel beams taken from the ruins of the World Trade Center. The planned expansion will add an 800-pound piece of Indiana limestone from the Pentagon crash site and a “Survivor Tree” from the World Trade Center.

The expansion will also memorialize the more than 5,000 U.S. military service members who have died fighting terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, said Miller, who said the goal is to complete the expansion and re-dedicate the site on the attacks’ 20th anniversary next year.

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Two local 9/11 tributes will take place in Hancock County tomorrow to commemorate the attacks that took place in America on Sept. 11, 2001.

Both events are free and should last about 30 minutes each. The public is encouraged to attend, and is asked to wear masks and maintain distancing.

New Palestine American Legion Post 182’s tribute

Noon Friday

Southern Hancock Veterans Memorial, located in Sugar Creek Township Park on South County Road 700W, just south of U.S. 52.

For more information on the Southern Hancock Veterans Memorial, visit legion182.org.

Hometown Heroes

5:30 p.m. Friday

The Living Alley, just southwest of State and North streets in downtown Greenfield

For more information on the Hometown Heroes event, or to register for the bean bag toss, visit greenfieldmainstreet.org.

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