Record crowds are expected for the 8th annual Healing Fields and Patriot Week scheduled Sept. 6 -13 on the grounds of the Civic Center in Prescott Valley.
The week’s events commemorate the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of the United States on 9/11 in 2001, said project chair Darlene Packard.
Activities begin on Friday, Sept. 6, when community volunteers set up 3,000 American flags in the grassy area just east of the Civic Center at 7501 E. Skoog Blvd. Packard said area residents may begin visiting the stars and stripes display throughout the week.
The 3,000 flags stand for those who died in the terrorist attacks. Nineteen flags are dedicated to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in a wildfire June 30, 2013.
Special Patriot Week programs are scheduled Saturday, Sept. 7. At 7 a.m., the 4th annual Patriot Run begins. At 9:30, the “Blessing of the Field” will be led by Fr. Dan Vollmer of the Prescott Valley Catholic Church. At 6 p.m., a special Children’s Patriot Concert is scheduled.
Another Patriot Concert is set for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10.
The traditional Patriot Day ceremony is set for 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11. Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta will begin the program in the Theater on the Green. Interim Chief of Police James Edelstein will serve as master of ceremonies.
Several dignitaries will speak, including Patty Mack, retired captain, New York Court Officers Academy.
Ceremonies will close with a final salute from American Legion Post 6, with a rifle volley and the playing of Taps.
Packard expressed appreciation to Mary Mallory, who until recently was a member of the Prescott Valley Town Council until she was appointed to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. “It was Mary Mallory who inspired us more than eight years ago to show our loyalty and patriotism to the world by having a Healing Field. We are all proud to be a part of that project.”
Palguta also praised Mallory. He said her idea of honoring those who serve helps everyone understand that freedom is not without pain and suffering. “We cannot forget our history and the sacrifices that have been made to protect our rights and freedoms,” he said.
Prescott Valley Town Manager Larry Tarkowski praised the Patriot Week events, saying, “From the dark days of 18 years ago, we have grown a celebration of the American spirit that reminds us all that despite our differences, we can yet embrace our shared love of country by honoring the sacrifices of those who have perished.”
More details are available at healingfield.org/prescottvalley.