Annual Day of Remembrance held in Dodge City

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
Nicole Nagel lowers a flag at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City, remembrance of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 on Saturday.

Sept. 11, 2001.

A day generations will remember for generations, when 19 terrorists hijacked four airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center buildings in New York, Pentagon in Washington D.C. and an open field in Pennsylvania, 20 years ago that caused the deaths of 2,977 people and injuring more than 25,000.

According to Dodge City Veterans Council - Avenue of Flags member Charles Sellens, on Saturday, Sept. 11, Ford County residents joined thousands of fellow Americans across the country who honored the lives lost in various ways, for the annual 9/11 Day of Remembrance Tree Planting Ceremony at Dodge City Fire Department Station 1.

The tree planting ceremonies coincided with the times each of the four airliners crashed at the sites in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Starting at 7:45 a.m., the first tree was planted to honor those who  died when the the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. 

Then at 8:03 a.m., 8:45 a.m., and 9:10 a.m., additional trees were planted.

At Maple Grove Cemetery, the Dodge City Veterans Council - The Avenue of Flags organized the raising and lowering of 486 flags along with  veteran and auxiliary members from the American Legion, G.I. Forum, and V.F.W.

A memorial service was also held at Liberty Gardens in Wright Park at 1 p.m. where members of the Ford County Sheriff’s Office escorted 20 Patriot Riders to the service where they held flags and Boy Scout Troop 162 raised the American flag to half-staff to begin the ceremonies.

The National Anthem was performed by Boot Hill Museum Miss Kitty actresses Christina Haselhorst and Dee Dee Royle and a prayer was given by Reverend Jerre Nolte. 

According to Sellens, the Dodge City Police Department Honor Guard provided escort services for dignitaries and the Dodge City Veterans Council furnished the honor guard.

The memorial featured guest speaker John Tignor who was a ground zero firefighter at the World Trade Center the day of the attack.

Tignor personally obtained and transported a large piece of the World Trade Center steel to Dodge City for display at Liberty Garden on the east side of Hoover Pavilion.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@gannett.com