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March 04, 2024

9-11-01 Remembrance event planned

A 20th Year Observance of 9/11, the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States, are planned, sponsored by Chuck and Allison Houchins, in conjunction with the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center.

The plans involve an interactive 20th Anniversary of 9/11, memorial open to the public at the Ballpark at the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center Educational Center. The memorial will open Sept. 11, 2021, 6:00 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m. on Sept. 18.

The entire ballpark at the Educational Complex will be involved in the installation of this memorial. The main entrance will be at the backstop on the corner of Hiddenite Church Road and Leach Street. A provision for handicapped entrance will be at the southeast opening in the chain link fence; otherwise, the field will be closed to contain the memorial.

Retired flags from Chuck and Allison Houchins, kept over the last 20 years, will be displayed in the memorial, symbolic of sacrifice. Visitors to the memorial will enter under a 10’ x 20’ flag hanging from the backstop and flanked by “NEVER FORGET” and “09-11-2001” large banners. They will then walk to the right of the entrance to “read through” the memorial.

Staff-posted retired flags and text banners will tell the story and statistics of 9-11 regarding those who perished. As the text follows around the ballpark, selected profiles of fallen heroes and words of inspiration will be appropriately included. It is important to note that the display and use of worn and tattered flags are an exception to protocol in light of this being a memorial installation.
At the close of the memorial, the flags will be properly retired.

After visitors have walked the entirety of the fence panels, a final stop will be the center of the ballpark. A fresh, new American Flag will be displayed, surrounded by six freestanding panels where visitors are invited and encouraged to write recollections, thoughts, verse, or any tribute they wish to share. Panels and markers will be provided and replaced as needed. Visitors are free to leave mementoes, flowers, or other tributes. This collection will be archived by the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center.

Visiting hours are at any time during the week, but evening hours will be of special significance. Each evening from 6:00–10:00 p.m., the memorial will be lighted and music composed by various musical artists, post 9-11, will be played via sound system in the park. Also included will be segments of addresses to the nation by then President, George W. Bush. As this is a memorial, visitors will be asked to enter, visit, and exit quietly and respectfully.

During the evening hours, an invitation is extended to volunteers who wish to be present as a host/hostess of the Memorial. Times and dates to sign up may be directed to Allison Houchins at or at her office at the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center at 828-632-6966.

Note: The ballpark will not be available for sports events during this week.

On September 11, 2021, the following events will be observed at the memorial:

• Ringing of the Bell at 8:46 a.m. Flight 11 impacts the North Tower.
• 9:37 a.m. Flight 77 impacts the Pentagon.
• 9:03 a.m. Flight 175 impacts the South Tower.
• 10:03 a.m. Flight 93 crashes in Pennsylvania.
Each followed by moment of silence and playing of the pipes.

Special evening features includes lighting and music, 6:00-10:00 p.m. nightly.

Seating will be available for quiet meditation.

Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center Educational Complex Ballpark, at 70 Hiddenite Church Road, Hiddenite, has free admission and parking. The site is handicap accessible.

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