Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

May 2, 2012

Planning nearly complete for Flight 11 remembrance service May 26

CENTERVILLE — Planning for the 50th Anniversary Flight 11 remembrance service is nearly complete, except for a few details. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, 2012 the service will begin at the Flight 11 Memorial on the Putnam County square. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held in the Putnam County Auditorium.

Danny Peto, a former Putnam County Sheriff for many years, will emcee the event. The Invocation will be given by Pastor Gene Weece, followed by Mayor Don Fowler giving the welcome. Mayor Fowler, as most local citizens know, flew B-52 bombing missions during the Vietnam War and did the same during Operation Desert Storm. He is a retired Air Force major. A high school student in 1962, he was given security duty at the crash site by his uncle, Sheriff David Fowler.

Posting of the Colors and raising of a new flag will be conducted by American Legion Post 34.  Jana Young will sing the “Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.”

Each Flight 11 family will then have the opportunity to have one representative make a brief comment. Following the comments, guest speaker Andrew Russell will be introduced.  A college student, Andrew was instrumental in bringing Flight 11 families together and inspiring Unionville to build a memorial

Our community’s own Keynotes will sing “God Bless America” and “Amazing Grace.” Roll call of names will be alternated between Kathryn Hamilton and Jo-Ellen Horn. Their fathers, Maurice Hamilton and Dale Horn, were passengers on Flight 11. Placing of the wreath will be done by John Berry and Frank Grene Weil.  John’s sister, Stella Ann Berry, was a stewardess and Frank’s father, Frank Grene, Jr., was a passenger.

Taps will be played by Talon Henderson and Pastor Kathy Morrison will conclude the service with the Benediction. Usherette duties will be done by Putnam County High School students.

Following the service, the United Methodist Church of Unionville will serve lunch for the Flight 11 families and other invited guests.  During the afternoon, the Putnam County Historical Society and Museum will be open. The public is always invited to visit our outstanding museum. Some families may want to visit the crash site, if permission can be granted by Dr. Monroe and Linda Adams. They have always cooperated.

In the evening, the families and others will dine at the Manhattan Restaurant in Centerville.  Space has been reserved. The group will then attend the Rathbun Country Music Theater, where Willis and Faye Dickerson’s musicians will perform.

For those families who stay through Sunday, they are invited to attend the First Christian Church in Unionville at 10:30 a.m.  Andrew Russell will be my guest there.

The number of Flight 11 guests coming to Unionville has not been finalized.  One family alone will have 14 members attending. Seating, as we did in 2010, will be provided for the families. The chairs will be provided by the Unionville Lions Club. The public should bring their own chairs.

There is still a need for someone to take photographs and video.  Since some of the families cannot attend, they will want a DVD of the service. After the 2012 memorial dedication, the DVDs were requested by many who attended.

Russell will arrive in Des Moines in late afternoon on May 24.  Ron Cook, who was one of the first to find the missing Flight 11, will accompany me. Andrew will stay until Tuesday, May 29. Plans are for him to attend the memorial services at the cemetery on May 28.  Since Sunday and Monday are free for him, a local family or two may wish to host a BBQ dinner for him on those days.

Questions or wishes to assist in any way, call Duane Crawford at (660) 947-2387 or Maribeth DeHaven at (660) 947-2724.   

The entire program, which Kay, Sandy and Mary Clapham have put together, will be printed by Unionville Print Shop.

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