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Gazette Premium Content 9/11 observances planned Wednesday around Colorado Springs

By Tom Roeder Updated: September 11, 2013 at 6:42 am

Air Force Academy cadets will mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with their legs Wednesday.

After a brief ceremony in the cadet area Wednesday, cadets will start running. In teams of five, cadets who were in grade school during the attacks will carry a firefighter's helmet and a commemorative baton around the academy's terrazzo for the next 48 hours.

The run coincides with an annual endurance test for cadets dubbed "Commandant's Challenge."

The focal point of the event is a memorial on the terrazzo made from rusted, twisted beams from the World Trade Center in New York.

"The final team of cadets will stop in front of the 9/11 Memorial and the fireman's helmet will be handed to the USAFA fire chief," the academy said in a news release. "He and a cadet will then place the baton and the fireman's helmet at the foot of the memorial in remembrance."

The academy is one of several places holding ceremonies this week to mark the anniversary of the attacks.

At 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, U.S. Northern Command will host an event at Peterson Air Force Base. Northern Command came into existence after 9/11 and was given the job of defending North America against terrorist attacks.

Like the academy, Peterson has a memorial made from World Trade Center steel that was donated by the National Homeland Defense Foundation in Colorado Springs.

Organizers say that the Northern Command event includes a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial by Gen. Chuck Jacoby, Northern Command's leader, and Don Addy, former head of the Homeland Defense Foundation who helped secure the 9/11 memorials in the region.

The public can attend a similar event at Fort Carson on Wednesday afternoon.

The post plans a 1 p.m. wreath-laying ceremony at its 9/11 memorial, which is outside the main gate at Nelson Boulevard and Colorado 115.

Mitchell High School's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps on Wednesday will host its annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony.

Open to the public, the ceremony will honor the military personnel, firefighters, police officers and civilians who died as a result of the tragedy.

There will be a special tribute to Kathryn Yancey LaBorie, a 1975 graduate of Mitchell, who was a flight attendant aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the second aircraft to crash into the World Trade Center.

JROTC cadets will present and lay a wreath in her honor.

Event participants also will include the Mitchell choir and band, Colorado Springs Fire Department Station 10, Colorado Springs Police Department High School Resource Officers and the Yancey family. Colorado Rep. Thomas Exum from House District 17 will be the guest speaker.

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Gazette reporter Debbie Kelley contributed to this report.

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