City to host 9/11 Community Day of Remembrance

The city will hold a Day of Remembrance to pay tribute to the

A Day of Remembrance honoring police, fire and emergency
personnel, along with victims of 9/11, will take place from 4 to 5
p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Christmas Hill Amphitheater in Gilroy.
A Day of Remembrance honoring police, fire and emergency personnel,
along with victims of 9/11, will take place from 4 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Christmas Hill Amphitheater in Gilroy. Full
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Today’s breaking news:
A Day of Remembrance honoring police, fire and emergency personnel, along with victims of 9/11, will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Christmas Hill Amphitheater in Gilroy.

The event commemorates the 10th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, along one airplane that crashed at the Pentagon and another plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. It’s organized by Malcolm MacPhail, city chaplain and pastor of New Hope Community Church.

“When you think about it, this is our generation’s Pearl Harbor,” he said. “I kind of look at it that way.”

The city has hosted smaller gatherings in front of the Gilroy Police Station on Hanna Street in the past, however this year MacPhail says he wanted to provide increased community access. He’s expecting a turnout of 300 people, but “we’re hoping for way more than that.”

The brand new ampihtheater in Christmas Hill Park, which recently underwent $350,000 overhaul, can seat more than 1,000 people.

The ceremony will include presentations by the Gilroy police and fire chiefs, along with special guest speaker Chaplain Jim Uhey. A national disaster relief specialist, Uhey has been involved with outreach for the the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings, the 2011 earthquake crisis in Haiti, the 2011 floods in Mississippi, the 2004 Madrid train bombings in Spain, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the Gulf Coast in 2005 after hurricane Katrina and tsunami relief in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Uhey plans on sharing stories of victims he’s met over the years, his visits to Ground Zero and his experiences connecting with servicemen and women.

“My friends call me the pastor of disaster,” said the Aptos resident good humoredly. “The biggest thing people don’t realize is that these things just don’t go away in a week or two. It takes three to five years to process stuff from a loss depending on how you’ve been traumatized.”

A good friend and old school chum of MacPhail, Uhey will also speak during the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday morning services Sept. 11 at New Hope Community Church, 8886 Muraoka Dr. All current and retired police, fire, military and emergency response personnel are encouraged to attend in uniform for New Hope services and the ceremony in Christmas Hill Park, too.

A memorial tribute, flag ceremony, the playing of taps and a 21-gun salute are also slated for the Day of Remembrance.

Whereas taps performed in city ceremonies are sometimes recorded, MacPhail said Tom Brozene, band director for the Gilroy Unified School District, may be on hand to provide a live rendition. Local singer/song writer Tony Quinn is scheduled to perform the patriotic song “Lady Liberty.”

Coaches from Gilroy and Christopher High School are encouraging their teams to attend the ceremony as well, MacPhail said, “just to be there as unit. That would be pretty cool.”

MacPhail is still looking for a civilian representative with connections to the 9/11 disaster, who would be willing to participate in the service.

“We would like to see community involved, because this effected more civilians than it did civil service workers,” he said.

For more information or questions about the Day of Remembrance, call Malcolm MacPhail at 427-5947.

If you know of a Sept. 11 memorial service or event to recognize the 10th anniversary of 9/11, send the information to City Editor Lindsay Weaver at [email protected]

10th Anniversary 9/11 Community Day of Remembrance

– From 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 at the newly renovated Christmas Hill Park amphitheater in Gilroy

– Featuring a national disaster relief specialist guest speaker, presentations by chiefs from the Gilroy police and fire departments, a 21-gun salute, a vocal performance, memorial tribute and flag ceremony.

– No cost. Overflow parking will be directed to the Ranch Site of Christmas Hill Park across Miller Avenue.

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