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9/11 attacks to be remembered once more in Harford

Mark Jones, of Joppa, puts up a display in rememberance of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Mark Jones, of Joppa, puts up a display in rememberance of the Sept. 11 attacks.(BRYNA ZUMER AEGIS STAFF, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Sept. 11 is not just another day for many in Harford County, who annually use the day to remind their neighbors of the terrorist attacks that transpired 13 years ago.

Several events and tributes are planned around the county Thursday in commemoration of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, including a local high school paying tribute.

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A series of flags will be on display at Bel Air High School Thursday, as will a beam from one of the Twin Towers, according to social studies teacher Timothy Roth.

Perhaps the most prominent observance is the annual flag waving from the Route 152 overpass across I-95 in Joppa.

One man has recently been holding his own display, on a cul-de-sac in Joppa.

For several years, Mark Jones, who lives in the 100 block of Breakwater Court, has put up a large banner, flanked by American flags, that reads "Dedicated to Those Who Fell and to Those Who Carry On" and "May We Never Forget."

He said the inscription comes from New York's 9/11 Tribute Center, which inspired him after he visited the site a couple of years ago.

"When I went up to Ground Zero and saw what happened, it affected me," Jones explained. "It makes you understand the gravity."

Jones noted he lives at the end of the street, but all his neighbors have seen it.

"I like to remember the firemen and policemen and innocent people," he said of the Sept. 11 events.

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Farther up in the Route 40 area, St. Joan of Arc School is holding its Freedom Walk in Aberdeen on Thursday morning and is also tying the event into a service project for the military.

Students and staff plan to walk at 8:30 a.m. from the school to Festival Park, followed by a program with guest speakers, patriotic songs and essays presented by middle-school students from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The school's service projects later that day will include students in third through fifth grade making goody bags for a military unit serving in Africa.

The students are writing letters to troops through the New Jersey-based organization Operation Goody Bag, according to a letter sent by the school.

Del. Pat McDonough, who represents Harford, will lead his annual flag-waving tribute on the Route 152 bridge over I-95.

The public is welcome to attend and help wave flags or other displays of patriotism over the highway.

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That event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m., McDonough said, and it has special significance this year with new spikes in international terrorism making headlines.

"We have had all these different problems with terrorists around the world," McDonough said, noting Islamic State militants in the Middle East and the Nigerian girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militant group earlier this year.

"It indicates we do have to remember and never forget, because there is a danger to the homeland," McDonough said.

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