- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Organizers of a walk and concert scheduled for Sunday to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and to honor U.S. troops and veterans said yesterday the event will include fundraising for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“We have invited and were accepted by the American Red Cross,” said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Hicks, a Pentagon spokesman. “They will be here to help raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief [and] they will be prominently placed.”

Cmdr. Hicks said a Red Cross booth will take donations in the Pentagon’s south parking lot, where the event will start.

The two-mile “America Supports You Freedom Walk” will begin at 10 a.m., wind past the section of the Pentagon hit in the attack on September 11, 2001, and the Arlington National Cemetery before crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge and passing the Lincoln Memorial.

The event will conclude on the south side of the Reflecting Pool with a free concert by Clint Black, a Grammy-winning country music star.

Participants and volunteers must register by tomorrow at 10 a.m. at www.americasupportsyou.mil. Organizers need 2,000 volunteers.

The walk will be preceded by a private ceremony for the 184 persons killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The ceremony is being sponsored by the Pentagon Memorial Fund Inc., which is raising money to build a memorial to those killed, either inside the Pentagon or on American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked by terrorists and flown into the building.

James J. Laychak, the fund’s president, said more than $8 million of the $18 million needed to build the memorial has been collected and he expects to have about $9 million by the end of the month.

However, the group is postponing plans for upcoming fundraising out of respect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. A 10-day EBay auction has been postponed until later this fall.

“We think it’s important for people to know about the Pentagon memorial [but] we just didn’t think it was appropriate to be promoting EBay and our auctions at this time and anything [else] that would take away from the relief efforts,” Mr. Laychak said.

Plans for the memorial include 184 illuminated benches arranged according to the victims’ ages, from 3 to 71. The memorial site will be opened for the first time to the public Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also on Sunday, Arlington County will hold an observance at 9:15 a.m. at the Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd. The event will include an honor guard and a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m. — the time the plane struck the Pentagon. A bell will toll 184 times, once for each victim.

On Saturday, park rangers on duty during the attacks will share their experiences, and visitors can discuss what they were doing during that time. The event is scheduled to take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the cemetery’s Robert E. Lee Memorial. The fourth annual Arlington Police/Fire/Sheriff 9-11 Memorial 5K Run will take place at 6 p.m. at the Crystal City Doubletree, 300 Army Navy Drive. Register at www.arlington911race.com.

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