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American Legion to host 9/11 program

VALLEY — At 11 a.m. EDT on Saturday,  September 11th, American Legion Post 67 will be hosting a memorial program at Veterans Park to remember those lost in the terrorist attacks of 9-11 some twenty years ago.

Valley Community Center will be loaning chairs for guests to sit in and tents for them to sit under. There’s a special invitation for local veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq to attend.

“It won’t be like Memorial Day or Veterans Day,” said Post Commander Lanny Bledsoe. “We will have a microphone and a sound system, but there won’t be a lot of speaking. We just want to remember that terrible day and to salute our men and women who served in harm’s way following that attack on our country. We want to thank them for their service. What recently happened in Afghanistan was not their fault.”

Veterans Park in the Langdale community contains monuments listing the names of local men who died in service to our country in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Afghanistan/Iraq monument contains the name of one local soldier. Brandon Hadaway was the crew chief on a Chinook helicopter that was shot down over Afghanistan. A sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division, Hadaway was 25 years old when he died on May 30, 2007. Four other U.S. soldiers died in the crash. The helicopter was shot down over the Upper Sangin Valley by a rocket propelled grenade believed to have been fired by Taliban fighters. Sgt. Hadaway did three tours of duty, first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq and was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed in action.

The five crew members who died in the helicopter crash were honored at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on September 12, 2008.

A local service was held at the Fairfax Holiness Church. Sgt. Hadaway was survived by a wife and three young sons. He was a graduate of Valley High School.

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