In the octave of the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America, there have been many attempts by the media to remind all citizens of the horror and heroism associated with the attacks on the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon and the American way of life.
As we again watch the planes crash into the World Trade Centers, the collapse of the Twin Towers, the heroism of firefighters, police officers and common citizens, we should be aware that the fabric of our democratic lifestyle was challenged.
We have met that challenge and become an even stronger, more patriotic nation. The cost, however, has been to require the ultimate sacrifice of American lives, and we still have troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Korea and many other areas of the world.
Within a month of that first attack, American flags became a sign of our resolve along with red, white and blue fire hydrants in Soldotna. We honored our local law enforcement officers and the emergency services personnel who assure our safety and self-confidence as we attend to our daily lives and habits.
On the first anniversary, we had a "Day of Remembrance" at Kenai Central High School and a prayer gathering at Soldotna High School. We began a letter-writing campaign to members of the military six months ago, and our citizens and children responded with great enthusiasm.
With the arrival of Sept. 11, 2003, our communities once again are remembering the sacrifices of the past as we look toward the future. The people of the Soldotna and Kenai communities are hosting four community events that deserve your participation, prayers and attendance.
At 2 p.m. today, the new fire station on Funny River Road will be dedicated. This has been a dream long in thought that has finally been achieved. The homesteaders that settled Funny River would be proud as state-of-the-art fire protection service will be realized for residents and visitors.
The Twin Cities' mayors along with the local Blood Bank will host a community blood drive at the Soldotna Sports Center from 2 to 6:30 p.m. today. Each pint of blood, as it is separated into its three constituent parts, can save three local lives during time in crisis. Much blood has been and is being spent in America's response to Sept. 11, and local residents continue to help one another by the gift of life which blood donating provides.
At 6 p.m. today at Kenai Peninsula College's Soldotna campus, a great speaker from NASA will address the challenges associated with education. The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai has greatly enhanced education throughout Alaska and has set the eyes of our children once again on exploration of their future and on our solar system. All Americans need to remember their dreams today and to promote the dreams of our children.
At 7:30 p.m., the Twin Cities' mayors will host a "Salute to Community Service" at the sports center. Along with members of the Kenai and Soldotna city councils, we will salute the members of the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Young Marines, active duty military and the honor guards from the Soldotna Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Kenai American Legion. The Air Force Band of the Pacific will play and the Skyview Swing Choir will sing. Agrium will provide juice and cookies.
In all, Sept. 11, 2003, should be a time of reflection and pride. Americans of all ages continue to make our communities safe, and our communities continue to be examples of the American dream.
Dave Carey is the mayor of Soldotna.
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