Vigil to honor fallen heroes

Vigil to honor fallen heroesBy CHRISTINA MACGREGOR

News Review Correspondent

The 10th annual candlelight vigil, to be held Monday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m, at the Freedom Park gazebo, will honor those who gave their lives during the terrorist attacks that happened 16 years ago in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Ridgecrest Exchange Club President Timothy Neipp noted that the vigil, held in conjunction with the annual Remembrance Field (see related story, this edition) is always scheduled to commemorate 9-11 during the week-long event.

Since the parade that launches the event rarely falls on Sept. 11, he and Pat Farris, the parade chair, wanted to do something to honor the significance of that day. So every Sept. 11, citizens are invited to go to the gazebo in Freedom Park to take part in the ceremony that honors our fallen heroes.

While the Exchange Club sponsors the event, the ceremony is headed up by firefighters from the Kern County and China Lake fire departments.

Another partner in the event is the Naval Air Weapons Station, which provides volunteers and support for the event.

As residents and visitors make their way to the gazebo, they are greeted by a giant American Flag suspended from a ladder truck. The flag is then lit up so that it can be seen by everyone at the evening service.

Among those commemorated are those who died in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and those aboard the four planes that crashed on 9-11. Also honored are the first responders who died in the line of duty, and military individuals who died in combat.

Candles will be provided for those who wish to take part in the ceremony.

“During the service, Freedom Park is aglow with the light of candles, and the atmosphere is one of silence and reverence. When you hear ‘Taps’ played, you are left with the feeling that it was good to be here,” said Farris.

“I know New York is a long way off, but the events of 9-11 affected and shook the entire country. I remember that morning very well,” said Neipp. “We cannot forget what happened then, nor can we be complacent about the challenges that continue.”

Pictured: Attendees of last year’s Candlelight Vigil raise their lights in honor and memory of our nation’s heroes. -- News Review file photo

Story First Published: 2017-09-08