Clinton Trees Forever members are encouraging area residents to join in commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Sister Mary Ann Phelan is the current vice president of Trees Forever. She is a charter member of the organization, which has been a part of the community for 21 years. Randy Pennock has been a member of Trees Forever for 20 years. Both of them have been involved with the Sept. 11 event that will be held at 2 p.m. at the Freedom Trees Site at Mill Creek Parkway and Iowa 136.
As co-chairwoman of the 9/11 10th Anniversary Committee, Sister Mary Ann said she feels the Freedom Trees site is the perfect place to hold the ceremony. Randy said it is a great living legacy for an event that should not be forgotten. Stages will be set up at the site for the event and the Clinton Fire and Police departments will lead a procession, presenting a US flag by the Color Guard. Sister Mary Ann said Trees Forever also has held one-year and five-year remembrance ceremonies.
Sunday’s event will be emceed by Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce President Julie Allesee, with an opening prayer from Clinton Ministerial Association President Rev. Bobb Barrick and a welcoming statement from Mayor Rodger Holm. Keynote speakers will be Police Chief Brian Guy, Fire Chief Mark Regenwether and Sister Hilary Mullany, OSF. Mullany will speak about the effects of the attack then and now and give a look toward the future.
Mayors from Clinton, Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will be planting a tree at the event. USA, Iowa and Clinton Trees Forever flags will be raised and a bell ceremony will be given by the Clinton Fire Department Honor Guard. The River City Municipal Band and Clinton High School students will provide music. The AMVETS Post 28 Honor Guard will perform Taps and a 21-gun salute.
Randy said the anniversary event should be less than an hour long. However, he said it should be a very moving ceremony. Sister Mary Ann said people need to remember the tragedy and learn from it to develop a more peaceful world: “Anytime our nation loses that many people in a tragedy like that, it makes us stop and think.”