- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2002


Music and patriotism will mark the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in Arlington County, where 184 lives were lost when five terrorists crashed a jetliner into the Pentagon.

Arlington officials are calling for residents to fly flags and lend their voices to a community concert that will remember the victims of terrorism and those who battled to save lives and property in the hours and days after the Pentagon attack.

"Arlington County has always had a special relationship with the Pentagon, one that was strengthened as a result of the terrorist attack," said Christopher Zimmerman, chairman of the Arlington County Board of Supervisors.

At 9:37 a.m. on Sept. 11, residents and businesses throughout Arlington's 26 square miles are encouraged to fly American flags. The timing of the event is meant to coincide with the moment the hijacked jet hit the Pentagon.

"Unfurl flags of all sizes, American flags, but also flags representing our citizens' countries of origin and heritage," Mr. Zimmerman said.

"We hope to see flags flying from every building throughout Arlington."

At the same time, a massive 180-square-foot flag similar to the huge banner suspended near the hole in the Pentagon in the days after the attack will be displayed over the Potomac River from the superstructure of Key Bridge. A 3,500-pound bronze bell in Arlington's Gateway Park will toll 184 times in honor of the those who were killed.

The county's events also will honor the police, fire and emergency medical services personnel who were among the first to arrive at the Pentagon after American Airlines Flight 77 from Washington Dulles International Airport, carrying 59 passengers and crew, slammed into the building. The crash killed 125 military service members and civilians inside the Pentagon. Five hijackers also died in the crash.

An evening concert featuring the Arlington Symphony Orchestra and a 150-voice chorale ensemble will be held at the Netherlands Carillon near the Marine Corps Memorial. It is being billed as a community sing-along.

Spectators will be asked to lend their voices to at least five of the selections.

"This is not the type of place where you are just going to come and be an observer," said Barry Hemphill, musical director of the event. "We're going to do this together."

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