Memorial set for Friday

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

In the wake of a Hurricane Katrina, Portales residents will take time to remember those who were killed in another tragedy — Sept. 11, 2001.

There will be a city-wide memorial held at 7:30 a.m. on Friday at the Portales National Bank parking lot.

On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four U.S. planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing almost 3,000.

Amy Carter of Portales will sing the National Anthem and the Portales High School choir will also sing during the remembrance The Cannon Air Force Base color guard will raise the flag as part of the ceremony.

“It is definitely a city-wide memorial,” Leo Lovett of Portales National Bank said. “I believe anytime something tragic happens on our soil, initially there is that shock. Americans spend their money and resources trying to help the victims. Our country tries to help it’s fellow man.”

ENMU Student Regent Diego Espinoza said he participated in a Sept. 11 Memorial while he was going to the University of New Mexico, but this will be the first time in Portales.

Espinoza said he was a freshman at Hillsdale College in Michigan when the two planes crashed into the towers.
He said there were no classes for two or three days.

“Honestly when I first saw it I thought to myself, ‘Is this really happening?’” Espinoza said. “I started calling family members and relatives to make sure they were OK.”

Espinoza said his family members live in Albuquerque and he called to make sure there were no terrorist attacks there.
“It gives us a chance to reflect on the tragedies,” Espinoza said.

He said he volunteered to help put package items to send to the recent hurricane victims.

“During a crisis the whole country pulls together to overcome the hardest times,” he said.