City officials and veterans will take part in the dedication.
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR RELIGION EDITOR
CANFIELD -- A historical church has erected what it believes is the first permanent memorial at an area house of worship to the victims and heroes of 9-11.
Canfield Presbyterian Church, 140 W. Main St., will dedicate a new United States flag and flagpole at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Sam Boak, the chairman of the steering committee overseeing preparations for the church's bicentennial in 2004, said he thought the memorial would "be a perfect thing for us."
Congregations of various faiths. including Canfield Presbyterian, have taken part in a variety of memorial and prayer activities throughout the Mahoning Valley since the terrorist attacks.
It's a first: But no other house of worship has announced plans for a permanent 9-11 memorial.
Boak said, "There's no other church that we're aware of" with a permanent memorial.
In the wake of the attack, some churches hung flags as best they could. Canfield Presbyterian had no pole.
After discussing the idea of the memorial, the committee asked the congregation for donations. The base was installed late last year, and the pole was recently added.
The new pole is 35 feet high and will accommodate a flag 6 feet by 10 feet -- "a large flag," Boak noted.
Dedication: The memorial will be dedicated, "in memory of all the victims and in honor of the heroes" of the attacks.
"It will help us remember," Boak said.
The memorial will be lighted and easily visible to motorists on the heavily traveled U.S. Route 224, as will the church steeple.
Boak, who is a city councilman, said his fellow council members, other city, township, school officials, the police and fire departments, Scouting organization and members of veterans organizations have been invited.
Mayor Lee Frey will speak, an honor guard will fire a salute, and there will be a poetry reading, Boak said.
Canfield Presbyterian is one of the oldest churches in the Valley. First Presbyterian Church in Youngstown is the oldest church in the Western Reserve and celebrated its bicentennial in 1999.
The church's roots date to 1901, when the Rev. Joseph Badger began preaching in the Western Reserve in various places, including Canfield.
The bicentennial celebration will begin Jan. 1, 2004, with services each month and various events.