A Sonoma commemoration of 9/11
Some months ago, David Irvine, the artistic director and conductor of the Sonoma Valley Chorale, came to me and reminded me that this year was the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and asked if I would be willing to help produce a commemorative event. I said that I would, and off we went.
We spilt the duties, with David handling the music end while I would handle the rest.
As we went through the process of planning the use of the Plaza on Sunday, Sept. 11, we gained the support and participation of additional partners. The Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority signed on to host an early morning ceremony to be called the Final Bell, and to read the names of 9/11's fallen firefighters. The reading will begin at 6:58 a.m. at Fire Station 1 on Second Street West.
The Sonoma Community Center, whose long term Ox Roast was cancelled in June due to rain, asked to join the event and to provide a mini-Ox Roast with beer and wine. The Ox Roast's faithful volunteers, headed by Howie Ehret, Dirk Lely, and Brad Bacon, will produce ox and sausage sandwiches, chips, beer, wine and soda for sale throughout the day, beginning at 11 a.m. Also on sale will be 2011 Ox T-shirts and wine glasses.
David Irvine enlisted the Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble to share the program with the Chorale. In quick succession the Sonoma Hometown Band, The Hot Flashes, Tommy Thomsen & Friends, singers for the National Anthem, sound engineers, graphic artists, organizations to read the names of the victims, Sonoma Garbage Company and many more, were now a part of this effort. This part of the day will be on the North side of Sonoma Plaza and in the Amphitheater.
Why would so many folks be willing to join up? For me, as a native New Yorker, this was about my former hometown, where almost all of my family live and work. Almost 3,000 folks died that morning, America was transformed and the world was changed. Reason enough for me to honor the fallen, to remember and commemorate.
The 9/11 event will be free and open to the citizens and visitors of Sonoma Valley. As with all events, there are costs incurred. Folks can send their donations to: Sonoma Valley Fire &andRescue Authority Volunteers, attention Tom Deely, 630 Second St. W., Sonoma. The SVF&RA will be present with T-shirts and Fire Med application forms, and will be accepting donations to next year's fireworks.
I want to thank Sarah and Darius Anderson for kicking off the fundraising with a super generous donation of $1,000.
If you are interested in participating in any way, please contact Ken Brown at 938-8623, or send an email to email@example.com. Please come join us on this very historical day of reflection and remembrance.
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Ken Brown is a member of the Sonoma City Council.