Willows vigil to be held on 9/11
The Willows Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary will host its second annual candlelight vigil on Patriot Day, Sept. 11, to remember those killed 12 years ago when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The vigil holds a dual purpose in that it will be held to also honor local first responders, said Alice James, Auxiliary secretary.
"These are the people who put their lives on the line for us every day," James said. "We believe that it is important that we recognize them."
The vigil replaces the Freedom Walk through Willows, which the Auxiliary hosted for a decade on the 11th to remember the bitter loss of nearly 3,000 people.
The event was never well attended by the public as it was held during the day, and most often on a workday, James said.
The first 9/11 vigil last year had more than 50 people in attendance, and James hopes more will come this year.
More than 400 firefighters, police and paramedics died at the World Trade Center on 9/11 when they rushed into the two towers.
"If it had not been for the first responders, so many more people would have died," James said.
Sept. 11 also marks the first anniversary of the terrorist assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed Northern California native Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The brief ceremony and candlelight vigil will be at 7:30 p.m. on the steps of the Willows Memorial Hall.
Last year's ceremony included firefighters, police and paramedics reading their creed.
A different ceremony is planned for this year, James said, although it will include a prayer and the unifying sound of church bells chiming in the distance.
A reception will follow.