Hood River will honor 9/11 heroes and victims

Hood River will host two “red, white and blue” events today in remembrance of more than 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the East Coast.

But both ceremonies — one in the morning and the other in the evening — are also intended to celebrate the strong American spirit that emerged from the unprecedented devastation.

Local citizens are asked to show their patriotism by wearing the national colors to the 9 a.m. Memorial Ceremony at Overlook Park and the blended performance of the Sweet Adelines and Friends and Neighbors choirs at 7 p.m. in Jackson Park.

“After one year, we are all still coping with the magnitude of these attacks. I am humbled to be asked to help the community pay our respects to those who lost their lives and honor the countless heroes who helped us to recover,” said Sen. Rick Metsger, who will be one of two keynote speakers at the morning commemoration.

The intersection of State and Second streets will be closed off for the program as representatives from all area fire departments, law enforcement agencies and veteran service organizations gather with citizens. Master of Ceremonies Lynn Guenther, a decorated Vietnam veteran, will introduce Metsger and Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett, who will also make a short presentation.

“This is a day to remember the victims and reflect on what this means to our communities and our country,” said Smith. “It is also a time to renew our commitment to ensuring that we recognize the heroes among us and I am honored to be able to participate in a meaningful way.”

A color guard from the Oregon National Guard will stand at attention while Police Chief Tony Dirks and Hood River Fire Chief Gary Willis lay a commemorative wreath at the foot of the pillar depicting the names of Hood River’s war dead. A bag pipe solo will take place during what Dirks has terms a “patriotic moment of remembrance.” That will be followed by a minute of silence.

(Also at 9 a.m., at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital chapel, a bell will be tolled to remember those who died as a result of Sept. 11.)


At 6:30 p.m., the Hood River Fire Department will fire up the barbecue grill at Jackson park to offer dinner to those in attendance.

“I would invite everyone to bring their family and make an evening of it,” said Virginia Hosford, Sweet Adelines spokesperson. To open the evening program, Boy Scout Troop No. 378 of Odell will raise the flag to half-mast at an official ceremony.

The local chapter will join sister organizations around the world in the “Sing Out for Peace,” that offers a wide range of selections. The all-women’s choir will then be joined by the Friends and Neighbors Chorus in a “simple but powerful” presentation of traditional American favorites.

During a break in the music, Pastor Dan Armstrong from the Hood River Valley Christian Church, who also acts as emcee, will deliver a non-denominational “Honor, Reflect and Remember” message.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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