Local events to mark dark day of Sept. 11, 2001

Monday marks the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and local groups will mark the solemn day with services, a motorcycle ride, a prayer vigil and other events.

And they’re welcoming the public to help them remember those lost, either that day or in the subsequent war on terror. Here are the details:

• The 11th Annual 9-11 Memorial Run presented by the Armed Forces Support Foundation starts at 3 p.m. at Bakersfield Harley Davidson, 35089 Merle Haggard Drive. Veterans services from all over the county will be there with booths, as will representatives from local law enforcement and a food vendor.

A large group of motorcycle riders will also assemble at the shop for a ride that takes off for Minter Field in Shafter at 6:30 p.m. And then at Minter there will be a couple guest speakers, one an expert on weapons of mass destruction, another who was at the Pentagon on 9/11.

“This ride is about honoring all those lost that day and those who stepped up and said, ‘I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again,'” said Ben Patten, president and co-founder of the foundation.

The foundation asks that riders give $ 10 per bike to help cover event costs, but it is entirely voluntary. People can participate without paying, Patten said.

The smallest number of riders that has participated over the years is 280; the most is more than 600, he said.  

• In Tehachapi, Sept. 11 will be marked as Patriot Day, a day of service and remembrance of the nearly 3,000 Americans who died in the attacks. The National Day of Prayer Committee will have a gathering at 6 p.m. in Centennial Plaza for people to sing and ask God to heal the nation. There also will be music.

• Bakersfield High School will pay tribute to those lost with a ceremony Monday morning.

“I will never forget when all the football games were canceled that Friday after 9/11 in 2001,” Principal David Reese said in a news release. “We held a candlelight ceremony that filled Griffith Stadium. We have had a remembrance every year since.” 

The schedule is as follows:

7:40 a.m.: An announcement over the PA system to invite classes to the Elm Grove area to watch the BHS 9/11 Memorial Tribute.

7:58 a.m.: Color Guard posts the colors at half-staff.

8 a.m.: Reese begins a tribute to 9/11 victims and their families, and a wreath will be placed by ROTC cadets in front of the flag pole. A BHS choir quartet will sing the National Anthem.

8:05 a.m.: Reese will ask students to stand for a moment of silence followed by the playing of Taps. ROTC students will march the rest of the day, similar to the march at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C.

• Houchin Community Blood Bank will sponsor its annual Week of Remembrance Blood Drive beginning on Monday and running through Friday. Donors are encouraged to donate a pint of blood or other needed blood products in honor of first responders at either donor center or one of five public mobile drives throughout Kern County.

“The recent response to Hurricane Harvey and fires throughout California remind us just how important first responders are to public health and safety,” Houchin said in a news release. “Blood, platelet and plasma donors are often considered first responders as well, because their blood products that are already collected, tested and on the shelves throughout the nation can be mobilized in the face of any emergency.”

Donations can be made at Houchin Donor Centers at 5901 Truxtun Ave. and 11515 Bolthouse Drive in Bakersfield. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

There also will be mobile blood drives:

— Monday, 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Kern County Fire Department, 5642 Victor St.

— Tuesday, noon to 6 p.m.: Tehachapi Community Blood Drive at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 329 South Mill St.

— Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Sully’s Chevron, 11400 Ming Ave.

— Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Delano Regional Medical Center, 1401 Garces Highway.

— Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Arvin High School, 900 Varsity St.

Blood donors must be in good health, weigh 110 pounds, and be 18 years old or older. Sixteen and 17 year olds can donate with parental consent. A photo ID with date of birth is all that is needed. For more information, call 323-4222 or go to www.hcbb.com.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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