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9/11 victims, local heroes remembered at City Park ceremony

September 01, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- During a ceremony Tuesday in City Park, Hagerstown and Washington County officials paid tribute to those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, while encouraging citizens to become more prepared for future emergencies.

The annual "Remembrance in the Park" was held at noon in the Emergency Services Tribute Garden near the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, where four new flagpoles were presented this year.

The event also served as a memorial to those "fallen heroes" who have died in the line of duty locally and as a celebration of the community's many citizen volunteers, said Kevin L. Lewis, the county's director of fire and emergency services.

Washington County Commissioners President John F. Barr and Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II proclaimed September "Citizens Emergency Preparedness Month" and encouraged citizens to make emergency plans with their families and gather emergency supplies.

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Anyone interested in receiving emergency preparedness guides or signing up for Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) courses may contact the Emergency Management Agency at 240-313-2904, said Verna Brown, the county's emergency management coordinator.

Tuesday's ceremony also included singing by Barbara Ingram School for the Arts student Heather Gayle and bagpipe music by firefighter Rick Conrad.

The poles for the city and county flags were donated by the Hagerstown City Council and the Washington County Commissioners, while the state flagpole was donated by Washington County Citizens Art and Ruth Anne Callaham, Paul and Harriett Muldowney, and Jay and Gail McDowell, Lewis said. The pole for the American flag was donated by the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, he said.

Barr, who owns Ellsworth Electric, donated the lighting for the new flagpoles, Lewis said.

Also unveiled during the ceremony were 32 new bricks that extend the garden's "Walk of Honor," which were donated by citizens for $30 each, Brown said.

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