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Community invited to ‘Stand United’
Saturday parade honors first responders; free concert part of unity event
Participants carry a banner in memory of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, in this 2016 file photo of the community parade honoring military and first responders. This year’s ‘We Stand United’ parade will be Saturday in downtown Great Bend.

A parade remembering the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and honoring local first responders and military personnel will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, in downtown Great Bend. The event will continue into the evening with a free concert, said Joseph Trimmer, organizer of “Together As a Community We Stand United.”

The parade will start at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo Parking lot and proceed South on Main Street past the Barton County courthouse.

“It’s important that we remember the 9/11 tragedy,” Trimmer said. There will also be a veterans float and the parade will feature military personnel and first responders from the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and community police departments, fire departments and emergency medical services.

Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes will be honored as the parade’s grand marshal.

After a break, the band Home Brew will present a free concert from 7-10:30 p.m. in the courthouse square band shell. The public will also be able to purchase food from Plum Crazy BBQ. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and coolers. Cereal malt beverages (3.2 beer) will be allowed, but nothing stronger, Trimmer said.

This is the third year for the 9/11 remembrance parade in Great Bend. Along with Trimmer, Shanna Meeks is helping organize this year’s event.

In 2016, Trimmer and Sherry Axman first asked the Great Bend City Council to authorize a parade for local law enforcement on Sept. 11. Their joint letter to the council noted, “We would like to put on a parade to support local law enforcement both present and past. ... This would be a great morale booster and would be something positive in all that is going on in the media with the negativity with law enforcements. We will get people to participate and get the community involved.”

For more information on Saturday’s event, contact Trimmer by calling 620-617-2812.

Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance

Tuesday, Sept. 11, is Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the resolution into law designating Sept. 11 of each year as “Patriot Day.” The flag should be flown at half-mast. Americans are asked to observe a moment of silence beginning at 7:46 a.m. (local time), the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2012, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation renaming the day as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.