Veterans will be honored on 9-11

September 08, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Danville will commemorate the third anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks by honoring all the local veterans.

There will be special effort to honor the family of Marine Cpl. Nicholas Dieruf, a Lexington man who died in combat in Husaybah, Iraq, on April 8.

Organizers are calling it "Celebrating American Heroes" Day, and it will include three military flyovers, a parade, speakers and musical entertainment.

At 9 a.m. there will be a flag-raising ceremony in Weisiger Park, and then the Danville Pipe Band will play.

The parade will roll down Main Street, from College Street to Third Street, at 10 a.m. If there is no rain, a military plane is expected to fly over the parade route.


Then Command Sgt. Maj. Otis Smith, a decorated and active military officer from Fort Knox, will speak at the Save-A-Lot parking lot. He served in Operation Desert Fox, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, which are all U.S. military conflicts in Iraq.

Mike Penny, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Emily Dieruf, wife of Nicholas Dieruf, will also speak. Emily Dieruf started the Dieruf Fund, a charity foundation for families of deployed soldiers, after her husband died.

Entertainers scheduled are: Danville High School Choir, First Baptist Men's Choir, Tina Anderson, Bernie Smith and Eddie Hopkins and Sons.

At the end of the day there will be a flag-lowering ceremony at Weisiger Park with Taps and a 21-gun salute.

Then there will be a street dance in the Save-A-Lot parking lot from 6-9 p.m. with music by Boomerang.

Local Kentucky National Guard units are expected to participate in the day's events. A memorial to those local residents who have died in war will be installed at the courthouse lawn.

Organizers hope that this will be an annual event in Danville.

"We'd love to see people fill the street to say, 'Thank You,' to our veterans," said Police Chief Jeff Peek, who has helped put together the events. "Despite what party they belong to or what their beliefs are, we just want to show support to those that have protected our freedoms and our Constitution. And we going to cross our fingers for good weather."

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