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Event at HCC marks third anniversary of 9/11

September 10, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Approximately 75 people who gathered at Hagerstown Community College Thursday sang patriotic songs to mark the upcoming third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Led by Melissa Miller of Faith Christian Fellowship Church in Williamsport, the group at the college center sang "The Star Spangled Banner," "God Bless America," "America the Beautiful" and other songs.

People were sitting as the event began, but soon most were standing and singing along with Miller, wife of the church pastor.

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"You thought you were going to just come here this morning and sit and listen," Miller said. "You did not know you were going to sing 'God Bless America.' But we do really need God to bless America."

She asked if audience members noticed that God was mentioned in each of the songs.

"We need God to bless America in this day and age we live in, with the uncertainty and fear," she said.

The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were "a wake-up call to all of us to how fragile our life was," she said.

The event ended with Charles Fowler of Gerrardstown, W. Va., playing "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes.

George Soterin, the college's director of plant operations and maintenance, said he enjoyed seeing and hearing the bagpipe player.

"That is usually something you see on television. You never see that live," he said.

Seeing people singing the songs was a moving experience, he said.

Kerry Hardman, 20, of Hagerstown, said she liked the event, especially the singing.

"I thought it was splendid. It hit just the right note," said J. Norman Mayer, pastor emeritus of Calvary Grace Brethren Church in Hagerstown.

While the event was not long, running about 20 minutes, "it was just right for a busy campus," Mayer said.

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