By Tony Parra
The third annual 9-11 memorial commemorating the loss of Americans through a terrorist attack will be held at the Portales National Bank parking lot at 7:30 a.m. on Friday.
“The biggest reason is to show we will never forget the men and women who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks,” Leo Lovett, a 9-11 memorial organizer, said. “We feel very passionate about the memorial.”
According to Lovett, Amy Carter will sing the national anthem and Christi Jackson will sing “God Bless America”. Lovett said Jackson is one of the members of the PNB and that PNB employees are helping set up the memorial.
“We (New Mexicans) didn’t have to experience the tragedy,” Lovett said. “We didn’t feel the fear, but we felt the remorse.”
Last year there was a commemoration for the victims of 9-11 by the fountain in the middle of the Eastern New Mexico University campus. Eastern president Steven Gamble spoke before a gathering at noon by the fountain
Diana Cordova, multi-cultural affairs director for ENMU, said she helped organize last year’s tribute. This year, however, representatives from the multi-cultural affairs and the Native American Affairs department will dedicate their efforts to a Veteran’s Memorial on November 11 on the ENMU campus.
“We thought it was time for us to honor all of the veterans,” Cordova said. “It’s going to be a big event. We’re going to have the event next to the veteran’s memorial on campus. We wanted to honor the soldiers in Iraq, too.”
Lovett said it is his understanding that ENMU and city officials will be present at the 9-11 memorial. Cannon Air Force Base officials have been present at previous memorials and Lovett said they will be present at this year’s tribute as well.
ENMU students may not be participating in a memorial on campus, but do have an event scheduled for Saturday called Community Action Day. Shannon Fresquez, ENMU Social Issues Program Director, and student volunteers will be helping the elderly with household chores and other members in the community who need help.
Fresquez said they will help clean and sort out clothes at the Consigning Women and Men clothing store on the downtown area of Portales on Saturday. Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Campus Union Building on the ENMU campus. Volunteers will work throughout the community from 10 a.m. to noon. Fresquez said approximately 10 to 30 volunteers showed up last year during each community action day.
“She’s (Sheila Savitz-Strange, Consigning Women and Men store owner) really excited about it,” Fresquez said. “The most important part of what we do is to help the community.”
Saturday’s Community Action Day is the first of three for the fall semester.