Moving tribute ceremonies on the 20th anniversary of September 11: The Prowers Journal
Russ Baldwin | Sep 13, 2021 | Comments 0
The settings of the Prowers County Fairgrounds were familiar to anyone who had witnessed the Tri-State tributes on 9/11; the stands, the speakers, the hall of honor… but this year’s event had a particularly poignant atmosphere given that it was marked by a call for national and personal reflection commensurate with the past 20 years and in light of the painful loss of Wiley students days earlier.
Tom Tudor was the guest speaker at the Tribute. Tudor served as a sentry and relief commander at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from February 1969 to Memorial Day 1970. He is the past president and board member of the Society of the Honor Guard – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier . He recalled how Arlington Cemetery took precautionary measures on September 11, 2001 to protect the resting place of so many of the country’s war dead.
This year’s parade honored 2021 Grand Marshall Wayne Clausen as well as Bryson Schemahorn for 2020 as this event was canceled due to pandemic protection measures. A special celebration was noted by the prominent position given to honor the students of Wiley Panther, included on the official sheriff’s vehicle that preceded the majority of the parade.
Although this was a typically hot summer day for Southeast Colorado, the absence of strong winds made it a perfect showcase for paratroopers flaunting their skills as Wild Blue Wing skydivers from the Air Force Academy descended from the sky.
Each jumper sported a flag representing the armed forces, capped with the American flag that showcased skills and talents as each parachutist landed, one after the other, at the back of the broadcast booth and fairground enclosures.
Doug Harbor, the initiator of the Tribute, addressed the crowd about the special significance of the 20e anniversary of September 11. What started as a small gathering of citizens, standing outside the Prowers County Courthouse, has grown into an annual symbol of our love for the country and an opportunity to express our thanks to our military, law enforcement, and law enforcement agencies. first responders and EMS personnel.
By Russ Baldwin
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