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Local Gold Star families join event

Afghanistan and Iraq Gold Star families from throughout Central Pennsylvania will join the local commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the planning committee announced this week.

The event, which will highlight the themes of Faith, Patriotism and Civic Pride, will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. The free tickets are available at any of the following Blair County locations: the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona; Thompson Pharmacy in Altoona and Hollidaysburg; Greenwood Pools and Spas in Altoona; the Gingrich Insurance Agency in Altoona; the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library; the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce; the Tyrone Area Public Library; the Pastry Box in Bellwood; Gartland Supply and C&S Family Market in Martinsburg; Roaring Spring True Value Hardware; and Martin General Store in Claysburg and Williamsburg.

Free tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the event, while supplies last. General admission tickets are going quickly, so the committee is encouraging residents to pick up their tickets in advance as soon as possible, DeGol said.

Among the highlights of the local commemoration will be a Walk of Honor saluting local military, religious leaders, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers.

Gold Star families have been invited to lead the Walk of Honor, which will occur at the beginning of the event and will be introduced via video by Vietnam veteran and Pittsburgh Steelers legend Rocky Bleier.

Jim O’Bryon, a national defense and security consultant who held a senior position at the Pentagon at the time of the 9/11 attacks and survived the assault on the building, will be the featured speaker. He will be joined by nationally recognized musicians Jim Worthing and Kera O’Bryon. The Altoona Youth Orchestra, the Altoona Community Band, and the Hollidaysburg Community Chorus will also be featured.

Active military members, religious leaders, police officers, firefighters, and medical workers are invited to register for the Walk of Honor. Visit 911-anniversary.weebly.com and click on the Walk of Honor registration button at the bottom of the homepage.

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