By Laura Brown
Triplicate staff writer
More than 40 local agencies will commemorate the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11 or "Patriot Day" and recognize the ongoing service of dedicated volunteer firefighters.
On Wednesday, a one-hour ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the outdoor arena at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds.
Paying their respects will be volunteer fire departments from Crescent City, Smith River, Gasquet, Hiouchi, Klamath, Brookings and Harbor, Ore. Also participating are military, law enforcement, emergency medical services agencies and the public school system.
A flyover by a United States Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter HH-65 will begin the ceremony. Youth from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Sea Cadets will pass out 1,000 flags to participants in the grandstands.
Master of Ceremonies will be KPOD radio personality Bill Stamps.
"Bill Stamps has been like an island of calm in a sea of confusion for so many years, we thought it was appropriate," said Janet Kasbohm, Community Resources Manager of Pelican Bay State Prison.
A flag flown over Iraq and Afghanistan will be on display. Senior Airman Lacey Thomas Norbert, a 1994 Del Norte High School graduate, is a radar specialist for the U.S. Air Force. During a recent assignment in Kuwait, Norbert flew an American flag from an F/A-18 Hornet for Bess Maxwell School, where her mother is a teacher.
Other highlights of the event will include American Red Cross volunteers for the New York City disaster: Claudia Frances, Jeff Harison and Christine Simmons. Brookings Mayor Bob Hagbom will attend alongside Crescent City Mayor Herb Kolodner.
A focal point will be the American flag flying from an elevated aerial ladder of Crescent Ladder Company No. 22 in the center of the field surrounded by other emergency vehicles.
A moment of silence will be dedicated to all those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. An antique fire truck from Crescent City Fire Department will honor those firefighters killed in the line of duty with a tolling of the bell.
"It's one of those things that raises the hair on the back of your neck. It's pretty moving," said Kasbohm.
The evening will wind down with a 21-gun salute by the Pelican Bay State Prison honor guard and "Taps" performed by Lindy Rust, Music Director of Del Norte High School. Jeremy Wood will sing "God Bless America."
The evening will close with a flyover by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in an air-attack plane.