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City, NMSU plan Patriot Day Ceremony on 9/11

The City of Las Cruces and New Mexico State University will commemorate the 17-year anniversary of 9/11 with a Patriot Day Ceremony to be held on campus.

ROTC cadets fire a cannon on the horseshoe at the precise time each of the four airplanes crashed on 9/11/01. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

The Patriot Day Ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, on the east end of The Horseshoe, in Horseshoe Park, near Hadley Hall on the campus of New Mexico State University. The public is invited to attend with free parking available in lots 1 and 2 near the corner of University Avenue and Espina Street, just north of Skeen Hall. Metered and parking reserved for persons with disabilities is available along North Horseshoe Street and South Horseshoe Street.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and may wish to bring along lawn chairs for seating on the grass field. The ceremony is expected to last 30-40 minutes.

Joining the Las Cruces Police Department and the Las Cruces Fire Department will be the NMSU Police Department, the NMSU Fire Department, NMSU’s Department of Military Science, NMSU’s Department of Aerospace Studies and NMSU’s Military and Veterans Programs. Keynote speaker for the ceremony will be LCPD Chief Patrick Gallagher who is a native of New York and was a captain with the New York City Police Department during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Preceding the Patriot Day Ceremony will be a 9/11 Commemorative Run that begins at 6:46 a.m., the moment when the North Tower was struck by American Airlines Flight 11. The approximate 2.5 mile Commemorative Run is open to anyone and will include members of NMSU’s Reserve Officer Training Corp. The run begins on North Horseshoe Street and heads east, across campus, to Arrowhead Drive and then back to North Horseshoe Street.

Residents who live near NMSU, and those who will be on campus the morning of Sept. 11, should be aware that NMSU’s Army ROTC program, the Bataan Battalion, will fire six rounds from a cannon to observe the significant events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. The cannon will be fired at 6:46 a.m. to observe when Flight 11 struck the North Tower, at 7:03 a.m. when Flight 175 struck the South Tower, at 7:37 a.m. when Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, at 7:59 a.m. when the South Tower collapsed, at 8:03 a.m. when Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania and at 8:28 a.m. when the North Tower collapsed. The cannon will be fired from north end of Horseshoe Park.