North Coast readies for Sept. 11 ceremoniesCommunities around the region have scheduled ceremonies in observance of the Sept. 11 anniversary Wednesday.

Clatsop County and the city of Astoria are hosting a countywide commemoration honoring victims and rescue workers beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday between the county courthouse and Astoria Post Office. All residents, schools, cities, armed services, law enforcement, fire and emergency agencies around the county are invited to join in the observance.

Organizers of the event are also asking churches, fire stations, ships and other facilities to sound their bells or signal horns at noon, when a state ceremony to memorialize the victims will begin in Salem.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has proclaimed Sept. 11 as a day of remembrance and requests that flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.

Among the speakers at Wednesday's event are Carolyn Williams, a Red Cross volunteer from Oregon who worked in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero, and Astoria native Courtney Person, who was in New York at the time of the attacks..

Sam Patrick, chairman of the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners, will read the governor's proclamation, and members of various uniformed services will join the sheriff's color guard to post the flag while the Astoria High School band performs. Sheriff John Raichl, Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen, Astoria High School Principal Larry Lockett and Capt. Tom Sparks, commander of Coast Guard Group Astoria, will speak. The tolling of the fire bell will be conducted to honor public safety crews. Pastor Dave Kinman of First United Methodist Church in Astoria will give the closing prayer.

The street between the post office and courthouse will be closed during the community service.

"We hope everyone in the county can join us or take a moment to reflect on the lives lost - and saved - in the terrorist attacks of last Sept. 11," Clatsop County Sheriff John Raichl said.

"I think it is important for us to remember the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001," Mayor Willis Van Dusen said. "We should remember, learn from it and move on with our lives, but never forget."

Among other commemoration activities Wednesday will be brief ceremonies in Seaside and Cannon Beach.

At noon in Seaside, a moment of silence will be followed by the "last call" ringing of the fire bell in the tower of the station at 150 S. Lincoln St., said Joe Dotson, Seaside fire chief.

The event is intended "to commend the heroic efforts of our first responders," according to a proclamation by Mayor Rosemary Baker-Monaghan. The city "wishes to remember and memorialize the victims and convey to the victims' families its compassion and grief for their loss," the proclamation added.

The bell may not have been rung since it was at the former City Hall location in 1990, city officials said. The proclamation is scheduled to be read at Monday's city council meeting.

Memorial reflections also will occur at noon and 6 p.m. at the chapel of Providence Seaside Hospital, 725 S. Wahanna Road. Pictures and names of relatives and friends who are in the military will be placed in the chapel, along with a floral display and flags. Three requiem pieces by Mozart, Foray and Brahms will be played softly in the chapel throughout the day.

Gearhart firefighters have a meeting Wednesday night and afterward plan to mark the date internally, Gearhart Fire Chief Bill Eddy said.

A commemoration also is planned at noon in Cannon Beach, organized by the American Legion in conjunction with firefighters, said Cleve Rooper, Cannon Beach fire chief. Mayor Laurel Hood and others are scheduled to attend the event at Sandpiper Square.

Observances are also planned in Pacific County, Wash. A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. at Peninsula Assembly of God Church at 26310 Ridge Ave. in Ocean Park. The event will feature music and recognition of firefighters, police, military and civil servants. The Rev. DeWayne LePointe will deliver the sermon.

The Peninsula Church Center will host an anniversary observance at noon.