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May we never forget: Ceremony will mark terrorist attacks, honor victims

The victims of the 9-11 attacks on the United States will be commemorated at Vista Verde Memorial Park in Rio Rancho on the 12th anniversary of the attacks.

The annual memorial service is planned for 6 p.m. on Sept. 11 near the Public Servants Garden, which includes the Twin Towers Memorial.

The art work incorporates the Pentagon, the two towers and a firefighters’ bell, along with the U.S. and New Mexico flags. Part of the Twin Towers memorial includes concrete and steel from Ground Zero.

The service has been held each year since 2009, according to the 9-11 memorial coordinator, Joan Stasi, funeral director for Daniels Family Funeral Services, which owns Vista Verde.

Glenn Zachry, location manager at Vista Verde, said that as in past years, the park will display 2,998 U.S. flags in the Public Servants Garden section. Each flag represents one of the lives lost during the attacks.

The flags will be planted on Friday, starting at 6:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed to help out, he said.


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“We have our staff there if there are no others, but we’d like the public to come out and be part of it,” Zachry said.

Volunteers don’t have to call ahead. “Just show up,” he said, adding that coffee and doughnuts will be available.

Daniels’ founder, Kevin Daniels, came up with the memorial idea and first pitched it to the city of Albuquerque. When it declined, the memorial was established in Rio Rancho.

“There is a large population here from the New York, New Jersey, Washington, the Pennsylvania area,” Stasi said. “The founder of Daniels had purchased a huge bronze 9-11 memorial plaque and wanted to do something to further its memorialization.”