9/11 healing field display begins Sunday

TEMPE, AZ - The Exchange Club and City of Tempe will be keeping up a tradition of remembering victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at Tempe Beach Park.

Beginning 6 a.m. Sunday, nearly 3,000 American flags were scheduled to be placed at Tempe Beach Park at Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway by the city and the Exchange Club as part of the 9th Annual Healing Field Ceremony where one American flag is raised for each person who died as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The commemoration events continue at 7 p.m. Monday with a community concert and conclude at 7 p.m. Tuesday with a candlelight vigil.

Beginning at 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday, a memorial ceremony will be held to commemorate the victims who died at the World Trade Towers in New York, on United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, and on American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.

Joseph Lutrario, a former New York city police officer of the Brooklyn South Task Force will be the keynote speaker for the event.

Lutrario and members of his unit arrived at the World Trade Center within minutes of the first plane crashing into the tower and he and his partner worked with a civilian to evacuate children from the day-care center at the North Tower.

When returning to the tower, Lutrario was buried in the rubble as the building collapsed. Despite his injuries, he and his partner continued to evacuate the children and spent several weeks at Ground Zero performing search and rescue duties.

Other people participating in the event include Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, Exchange Club of Tempe President Mark Poisson, Tempe Fire Chief Greg Ruiz, a bagpipe band and numerous volunteers.

Boots on the Ground, a nonprofit organization, is returning to Tempe this year to place flags with a pair of combat boots to remember the 70 veterans who died at the Pentagon or on Flight 77 that crashed into its courtyard.

Healing Field is the nation's longest-running Sept. 11 commemoration event where one American flag is flown for every person who died as a result of the terrorist attacks, according to information from Tempe.

For more information, visit www.tempe.gov/healingfield .

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