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Citizens Medical Center hosting annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony

By BY SONNY LONG - SLONG@VICAD.COM
Sept. 7, 2011 at 4:07 a.m.

Col. Michael J. Keller

AREA PATRIOT DAY CEREMONIES/ACTIVITIES

THURSDAY

2-5 p.m. - "This Blood's For You" blood drive to honor first responders, Del Papa Victoria Distribution Center, 3907 E. Rio Grande St.

FRIDAY

7:15 a.m. - Patti Welder Middle School will observe a moment of silence at the flagpole

7:45 a.m. - Citizens Medical Center, Victoria, guest speaker U.S. Army Reserve Col. Michael Keller

8:30 a.m. - Cuero Intermediate School, Principal Bill Hamilton will make remarks

9 a.m. - Yorktown High School, auditorium, guest speaker the Rev. Mark Collins

9 a.m. - State Rep. Geanie Morrison will speak at Liberty Academy, 1110 Sam Houston Drive. The ROTC will present the colors.

9 a.m. to noon - H-E-B Helping Heroes, meal preparation, Victoria Fire stations #2, #4, #5.

10 a.m. - Ceremony at Victoria College, 2200 E. Red River St., behind the Student Center. VC will place bows on trees around campus to honor the anniversary of 9/11.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - H-E-B Helping Heroes, meal preparation, Victoria Fire stations #1, #3.

1-6 p.m. - Del Papa "This Blood's For You" blood drive to honor first responders, Prosperity Bank, 1301 Mechanic St., El Campo

SATURDAY

9 a.m.-2 p.m. - Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas, Open House and 9-11 service projects, 104 W. River St.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Del Papa "This Blood's For You" blood drive to honor first responders, Victoria Mall

SUNDAY

10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. - First United Methodist Church, interfaith service in remembrance of Sept. 11. A community lunch of brisket and chicken, salad, vegetables and other sides will be provided by the church.

Crossroads residents have several opportunities to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as honor first responders, beginning Friday.

A remembrance ceremony will be at 7:45 a.m. in front of the main entrance of Citizens Medical Center, 2701 Hospital Drive.

Doris Kleiber, a Citizens Auxiliary volunteer, founder of the event and mistress of ceremonies, emphasized the importance of the ceremony.

"Citizens Medical Center began this annual ceremony the year after the attacks because we wanted to pay tribute to those who died, as well as those who worked so valiantly to rescue survivors," she said. "We also wanted to pay tribute to those who were called into active duty to serve overseas in the war.

"We continue to hold the ceremony because we should never forget. Our nation being attacked is something that should not happen and we should never forget that it could happen and will happen again," Kleiber said.

Guest speaker will be U.S. Army Reserve Col. Michael J. Keller.

Keller has been in the Army Reserve for more than 30 years. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant in 1987 and moved up the ranks to colonel in 2009.

Keller is currently the chief of the Civil Military Operations Center, 321st Civil Affairs Brigade in San Antonio.

He has served tours in Kuwait and in Iraq and been awarded numerous medals, including the Bronze Star.

After Keller's remarks, Friday's program at Citizens Medical Center will close with the playing of taps, an honorary flyover by Citizens Air Medical and a prayer led by the Rev. Tim Williams.

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