The 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be marked in York with two distinct events: a parade and a solemn ceremony.
York Fair organizers have over the past decade been faced with the notion of somberly marking the anniversary at the height of jubilation on the fair's 10-day run.
"Whatever we do to commemorate, it has to have a fun component," said fair president Gene Schenck. "There will be no ceremony or speeches to that effect. We wanted to remember it in a way that created something that was enjoyable to see."
The inaugural Remember 9/11 Parade to be held Wednesday answers that call, he said.
For that parade, fair organizers are pulling from the on-ground entertainment, including everything from jugglers and enormous strong men to "The Cracked Walnuts," a husband and wife team of strolling musicians playing old-time guitar and banjo music, said fair manager Mike Froehlich.
The grand marshal will be country singer Rachel Farley, that night's main act on the free stage, and the York Fair Queen will be pulled around in a Cinderella carriage taken from a fair attraction, he said.
The event coincidences with free-admission day for all veterans, active military and emergency service personnel with identification, he said, and numerous fire trucks and ambulances from area departments will be featured alongside state police mounted patrolmen, he said.
A color guard will lead the hour-long parade, which starts on the Highland Avenue side of Utz Arena at 6 p.m. and concludes with drum and bugle performances at the grandstand, he said.
Prospect Hill ceremony: Workers at Prospect Hill Cemetery were carving names into the granite columns of the Court of Valor Friday, preparing for the cemetery's annual observance on Sunday, Sept. 15.
The monument is a granite archway topped with a 3,000-pound I-beam from the World Trade Center.
Unveiled in 2009, it bears the names of hundreds of York County veterans awarded medals for valor and sacrifice. Nineteen more names will be added this year, said Jack Sommer, the cemetery's CEO.
Among this year's honorees is Cpl. Matthew Hanes, a 22-year-old Army veteran from East Manchester Township who was shot in Afghanistan and paralyzed from the neck down.
Military and first responder vehicles, including the STAT MedEvac helicopter, will be on display from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., along with the Eyes of Freedom Traveling Memorial.
The Lima Company Memorial depicts the fallen soldiers of Lima Company 3/25, one of the hardest hit units in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with 23 life-size portraits.
The official ceremony begins at 1 p.m. and includes a speech from Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County, an Iraq War veteran.
A colonial fife and drum ensemble will perform, and York Area Regional Police will enter the ceremony in a motorcycle procession with sirens blaring.
A soloist will sing the national anthem, and biodegradable red and blue balloons will be released in honor of 9/11 victims.
The event will also include a flag-folding and presentation to the widow of Loganville Volunteer Fire Chief Rodney Miller, who was struck by a car and killed while directing traffic.
About 800 people typically attend the free event, which is open to the public. The ceremony is held at 700 N. George St., but guests are asked to enter the cemetery via its Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.
- Staff writer Christina Kauffman can also be reached at email@example.com.