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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Communitywide service Friday to remember victims of terrorists' attacks

A communitywide memorial service and patriotic concert titled "Las Cruces Prays, Las Cruces Remembers" will be held at 5:15 p.m. Friday (Sept. 14) on the Horseshoe at New Mexico State University as part of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance proclaimed today by President Bush to honor the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

tion, people are invited to gather informally during the noon hour Friday on the Horseshoe, just east of Espina Street on campus, for a period of remembrance accompanied by a 21-gun salute at one-minute intervals.

President Bush suggested in a White House news release today that people across the nation mark the day with noontime memorial services with bell ringing and evening candlelight vigils.

"These events, including our noon vigil and the evening candlelight service and concert, will offer all Las Crucens, on campus and throughout the community, a chance to come together to express our sorrow over these tragedies and show our support for our country," said Juan N. Franco, interim vice president for student services.

City and campus leaders as well as representatives of area clergy will participate in the formal program that will start about 5:30 p.m. Mayor Ruben Smith and university President Jay Gogue will be among those speaking. The university's Pride Band will begin playing traditional patriotic music at 5:15 p.m. Other university music groups also may perform. The event will conclude with an "Evening Salute," a one-gun cannon boom followed by "Taps" by the campus ROTC units, according to Frank Sherman, a military science professor representing Army ROTC. Representatives from city, county and university police and fire departments will participate to honor their colleagues taking part in the rescue efforts. As people leave the service, they'll be given candles to take home to light during the rest of the evening as part of the nationwide candlelight observances.

Throughout the day Friday, university students will distribute red, white and blue "memory ribbons," according to Kimberly Smith, a student senator who is one of the student organizers for the day of mourning.

University Provost William Flores said faculty will be encouraged to give students opportunities in classes to talk about the tragic events, and all employees will be encouraged to stay on campus to attend the service and concert.

Mayor Smith said: "We have a special opportunity in Las Cruces, through our Unidad Park project, to continue honoring the memories of the victims and those who died trying to rescue them."

Smith said community park organizers, who kicked off construction today, are redesigning the park entrance as a memorial to the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Smith will talk during the service about how people can get involved in the all-volunteer construction project running for the next two weeks.

Parking for the 5:15 p.m. event will be available in the lots at the corner of Espina and University. Some shuttle transportation to the Horseshoe will be provided. The road around the Horseshoe will be closed to all but handicapped parking.