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Community invited to memorialize 9-11 tragedy
September 01, 2011 Jerry Purvis   
It was a day no one will forget, one that can be expressed as a simple number: 9/11. And 10 years later, the community will gather to remember.

On Sunday, Sept. 11, “Never Forget!” is scheduled at Five Rocks Amphitheater in Gering. The communitywide patriotic and commemorative event is to honor the tragic occasion of 10 years ago, when terrorists caused so much destruction on our nation – and changed the very fabric of our lives.

Phil Ransom, associate pastor at Calvary Memorial Evangelical Free Church in Gering, said the idea to commemorate the event came out of a pastors’ meeting last spring. Because the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was on a Sunday, the group decided to put something together.

“We talked about the scope of the event, what our objectives were and what we wanted to do,” Ransom said. ‘We decided it should be bigger than just a worship service. We wanted to get people, schools, businesses all involved.”

The group then contacted the City of Gering. Mayor Ed Mayo brought the idea to the council, which approved. The mayor then got the group in contact with Karla Niedan-Streeks of Gering Convention and Visitors Bureau, which manages Five Rocks Amphitheater.

Sunday’s activities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a processional motorcade of local emergency vehicles, starting at Bluffs Middle School in Scottsbluff. The motorcade continues down Broadway, through Gering and out the Five Rocks, where the vehicles will be on display for the public.

Local Boy Scouts have volunteered to hand out programs at the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The Scottsbluff Fire Department Honor Guard will post the colors to half mast, followed by Taps.

The Gering City Band, under the direction of Randy Raines, along with a choir of community members, will provide the music. Members of the Gering High School Speech Team, four students who won the 2011 state championship for Oral Interpretation of Drama, will provide the narrative between songs.

“We’ve scheduled this event remember and honor those who lost their lives that day and those who have given their lives in the ongoing war on terrorism,” Ransom said. “We need to remember we’re still living in the best country in the whole wide world. This is America and we’re honored to live here.”

He added the rally will also emphasize this isn’t the first time we’ve been attacked or insulted. It’s isn’t a response to something we’ve done, but simply because we’re Americans.

‘We need to take that insult and turn it into pride,” Ransom said. “We need to take the assaults and turn them into determination. That’s part of the American fabric.”

The “Never Forget!” rally wraps up at about 7:30 p.m. with patriotic exit music from a group of local musicians.

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