Portales 9/11 memorial ceremonies set

Alisa Boswell

Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, which means Portales residents will be gathering to commemorate and remember those who were lost on that day.

The J.P. Stone Community Bank is holding a memorial ceremony 7:30 a.m. Friday, as it has every year since 2002.

Bank President David Stone said the Cannon Air Force Base color guard attends every year along with Portales firefighters and police officers.

“The purpose of this is to maintain people’s awareness of what happened to us,” Stone said. “If you don’t remember the lessons of the past, you’re destined to repeat them.”

Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker will be the guest speaker.

Hooker said the focus of his speech is how the Sept. 11 attacks changed lives and how it changed the country.

“Foremost, I want to talk about how it’s been 10 years,” Hooker said. “That’s a long time and it’s something that has deeply affected our generation. Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy assassination are both things we asked our parents about and now, our children ask us about 9/11 and where we were on that day.”

Hooker said he hopes to make people think about not where they were at the time of the event but what they have done since the event took place.

Another Sept. 11 memorial event taking place will be the VFW Post 9515 event, which will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday.

“I just didn’t want people to forget,” said Karla Eaton, quarter master and adjutant for Post 9515 and coordinator for the event. “Sometimes we get complacent as time goes by and I just didn’t want people to forget what happened or forget our soldiers still fighting out there.”

Eaton said the event will include a dinner and raffle and the guest speaker will be the Cannon Air Force Base 27 Special Operations Wing commander.

She said the CAFB color guard will also be present at this event.

“We’ve all been there and done that with defending our country and we want to make sure other people serving are recognized and honored as well,” Eaton said.