9/11 remembrance includes music, speakers, military honors and lunch
Everyone is invited to Sierra Telephone’s 11th annual Patriot Day at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, outside the Sierra Tel offices at 49150 Road 426 in Oakhurst.
The event is being organized, as it has every year since 2002, to show appreciation to all veterans, active duty military and emergency services personnel for their dedication to their country and communities, and to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The event will begin with a ceremonial flag-raising ceremony and pledge of allegiance, patriotic music played and sung by the Yosemite High School Advanced Percussion Ensemble and the YHS Chamber Singers. A 21-rifle salute will be given by the Griswold Mountain Detachment Marine Corps League No. 1121, and taps will be played by YHS student Joe Ekman.
Sue Okenyi, author of “Healing the Hero’s Heart,” is the keynote speaker for this year’s Sierra Tel Patriot Day.
Okenyi was an employee of Pelco, in Clovis, during the 9/11 tragedies and played an integral role in Pelco’s humanitarian assistance in the months following the attack – as well as in the company’s involvement in donating the video security cameras that watched over the search and rescue efforts at Ground Zero. Her role provided her with a unique perspective of the events following 9/11, which she will share at Patriot Day.
Immediately following the event, the Sierra Telephone Safety Awareness Committee will be serving up All-American Apple Pie and ice cream in the pavilion located behind the Sierra Tel building. A tri-tip lunch will also be available for purchase from American Legion Post 110 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. To-go plates will be available if you’d like to purchase lunch for a friend who is unable to attend.
“Each year following the events of Sept.11, 2001, Sierra Tel has made a visible statement of patriotism by affixing flags to each of its highly recognizable company vehicles,” said Sierra Tel spokeswoman Rima Runtzel.
These vehicle flags are flown from Patriot Day on Sept. 11 through Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.