COVER: San Marcos firefighters M.O. Orichuela, Brian Quackenbush, Barrett Barbour and Tory Turner post the colors at half-staff during the a ceremony in 2011 marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Patriot Day observances are planned in San Marcos and Wimberley on Thursday. FILE PHOTO by DON ANDERS/CITY OF SAN MARCOS
FROM STAFF REPORTS
At 8:45 a.m. on the steps of San Marcos City Hall, an outdoor assemblage will hear remarks from local leaders and then observe a moment of silence. The ceremony is timed to begin one minute before an American Airliners plane commandeered by Islamic militants struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
The San Marcos Fire Department’s honor guard will hoist a U.S. flag to half-staff, the same flag that fluttered over city hall the day of the attacks. After the Kyle Area Senior Zone Singers deliver a rendition of “God Bless America,” firefighters will ring a historic fire house bell in memory of emergency workers who died answering the attacks. The dignified ceremony culminates with a column of residents placing white carnations in a floral memorial.
Twelve years ago, 19 hijackers brought down four commercial passenger jets in a coordinated offensive that claimed 2,977 victims. The casualties included 411 firefighters, police officers, paramedics and other first responders. The city of San Marcos has marked the anniversary each year since.
In Wimberley, Patriot Day will be observed beginning on the grounds of the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325. A reception will follow in The Glade oak grove. If weather is bad, the ceremony will be moved to the Burdine Johnson Burdine Johnson Studio Theatre, also on the EmilyAnn campus. Organized by VFW Post 6441, the Wimberley program will include recognition of a World War II veteran honored as the group’s “Patriot of the Year.”