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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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September 11 remembrances scheduled at NMSU

The victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks that took more than 3,000 lives two years ago will be remembered in two community services on the New Mexico State University campus Thursday.

Public parking for the September 11 candlelight service at New Mexico State University will be available in the lots north and south of the Educational Services Center.

The first ceremony, from 6:40 to 8:28 a.m. on the university's Horseshoe, will involve the solemn tolling of a bell in remembrance of those who died in the attacks. The other event, beginning at 7 p.m. at the outdoor stage east of the Corbett Center Student Union, will include music, reflective comments and a silent candlelight vigil.

The public is welcome at both events, which are being organized by NMSU, the Associated Students of NMSU, Dona Ana County and the city of Las Cruces.

The timing of the bell-ringing ceremony on the Horseshoe coincides with the timing of key events of September 11, 2001. Following the presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, a siren will sound briefly at 6:46 a.m., the time at which the first of two hijacked airliners struck the World Trade Center in New York City.

A muted bell then will toll once every two seconds until the siren wails again at 8:28 a.m., the time at which the second World Trade Center tower collapsed. The number of bell tolls will approximate the number of people who died in the terrorist attacks, including those in the hijacked airliners that crashed in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, and those in the buildings that were struck, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

An NMSU ROTC color guard will present the colors to open the morning ceremony. A four-person honor guard, with representatives from local police, fire, military and emergency medical service agencies, will be posted at a garrison flag throughout the ceremony. The honor guard will silently disband at the end of the ceremony.

The Horseshoe is located on Espina Street just south of University Avenue on the west side of the university campus.

The candlelight ceremony at 7 p.m. will feature musical solos by NMSU students Orlando Jimenez and Ida Holguin. Reflections will be presented by representatives of the Interfaith Council of Las Cruces. Following a silent candlelight vigil, the ceremony will close with the playing of "Taps" by Frank Romero.

The evening ceremony is expected to last about an hour. Candles will be provided or participants may bring their own. Participants also are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and mosquito repellent.

Nearby public parking will be available in the lots north and south of the Educational Services Center, the building next to the Pan American Center.