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September 11 Remembrances to Be Held Saturday

Candace Braun

While it has been three years since the September 11 attacks, groups of Princeton residents will still observe the somber day this Saturday, along with events to remind residents of the importance of this year's election.

One ceremony of commemoration and protest will be held by the Progressive Patriots, "an ad hoc group of concerned area residents without organizational or political affiliation who have united solely to organize this event," said the event's coordinator, Marvin Leifer. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 11, at Monument Park in front of Borough Hall.

Beginning at 8 a.m. with a narration of the events of September 11, 2001, those in attendance will pause for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., and 10:03 a.m., corresponding with the times that each flight hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pa. The two-hour remembrance will be highlighted by a reading from an account of the attacks in A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies, by journalist James Bamford.

Following the conclusion of the remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m., there will be readings from the 9/11 Commission Report, along with other readings that "repudiate the implication that Iraq was responsible for the attacks," said Mr. Leifer, adding that "additional readings critical of the Bush Administration's response to the 9/11 attacks will also be included."

Among the readings will be passages from Against All Enemies by Richard A. Clarke, former National Coordinator of Counterterrorism for both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and "The Case Against George W. Bush," a critique of the Bush Administration written by the late President Ronald Reagan's son, Ron Reagan, Jr., for Esquire Magazine.

From noon until 4 p.m., a voter registration table will be open outside Borough Hall, which will be manned by representatives from various political action groups who can provide information to attendees on community involvement in this year's election. Mike Kovacs and the Post Modern Tribe will provide musical entertainment during this time.

"We hope this event will accomplish several things," said Mr. Leifer. "First, to commemorate 9/11; second, to note the conscientious and learned criticism of our response to this tragedy; third, to encourage people to let their voices be heard at the polls; and last, to make the point that dissent is patriotic."

For more information on this event, email progressive patriots@yahoo.com.

Subhead: Area Events

The Princeton Public Library will also encourage residents to register to vote on September 11 as part of the New Jersey Libraries September Project, a statewide initiative.

On Saturday at 3 p.m., the library will host a forum by Edward W. Felten, professor of computer science at Princeton University. "Election 2004: How Will Your Vote Count?" will highlight issues involving the November election, and the security and verification that will be involved in electronic voting.

Members of the Princeton Area League of Women Voters will also have a voting registration table available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 11, inside the library.

On Friday, September 10, at 9 a.m., Mercer County Community College will host a ceremony to commemorate the events of September 11 at the college's Remembrance Park, adjacent to the Student Center.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Student Government Association President Anna-Kay Thomas, and Rev. William Coleman, a member of the college's board of trustees, will be the morning's speakers.

College faculty member Colleen Courtney will sing the national anthem and administrative staff member Donald Jones will sing God Bless America.

For more information on this ceremony, call (609) 586-4800, ext. 3608.

In keeping with the day's significance, the University Medical Center at Princeton will open its blood donor room from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins will be accepted.

The Medical Center operates its own community-based Blood Donor Program to treat patients and help save the lives of those in need. Blood donations are used for patients having surgery, cancer patients, and shock and burn victims.

Those unable to attend the blood drive on Saturday are welcome to attend the regular blood donor hours, on Tuesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and one Saturday each month from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The blood donor room is located on the UMCP campus in the Medical Arts Building, Suite B. For more information, call (609) 497-4366.

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