10 years and not forgotten

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A Utah Valley resident will be honored Sunday for his heroic acts during the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, at a commemoration hosted by the Walton Group Inc.

An awards ceremony will be held for this resident, whose identity will remain a secret until the event. Linda Walton, president of the Walton Group Inc., said this hero helped many at ground zero after the terrorist attacks.

“[He is a] volunteer who helped literally hundreds of people in New York City,” Walton said.

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UVU President Matthew Holland gives the "State of the University" speech in the Ragan Theater on UVU's campus.
Matthew Holland, president of Utah Valley University, will be the keynote speaker for a 10-year commemoration of 9/11 and Provo Mayor John Curtis will emcee.

“Few events in our history have had the kind of poignant impact as the 9/11 attacks,” Holland said in an email. “It speaks to the resilience of the American spirit that when such a horrendous terrorist act occurred on our soil, a more galvanized and unified people immediately stepped forward across this great country to heal, rescue and recover. In the decade since that dark day, it appears this unity of purpose and spirit has greatly diminished. As we observe the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, we might best remember and honor those who lost their lives by rekindling a commitment to meet the significant challenges of our day with more mutual aim and resolve.”

The volunteer committee planning the event also hosted a Provo-based vigil held on Sept. 12, 2001. Walton said at that event balloons were released in remembrance of those who died on that fateful day. Similar to the first vigil, balloons will be released at the commemoration on Sunday.

Walton said the balloons will be used to honor the dead and look with hope toward the future.

“The balloons are released to encourage people to look heavenward with their grief or for encouragement,” she said.

Emily Stuart, a sophomore from San Jose, Calif., gave her thoughts on the importance of remembering the day.

“After Sept. 11, there was a big pulling together of my community that I’d never seen before,” Stuart said. “It’s important to remember why we change and why we fight for what is right. I think it is important to remember those who died [in the terrorist attacks].”

Serena Kirk, who performed at a local observance of the National Day of Prayer, will sing the national anthem at Sunday’s commemoration. A metro police squad will serve as the honor guard for the flag ceremony.

A video presentation created by Provo City Channel’s Blake Romney will show at the event and feature key community leaders effected by 9/11.

The 10-year 9/11 commemoration will be held on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Provo Seventh Day Adventist Church at 255 S. 700 East.

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