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'Night of Remembrance' held in Platte City

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

About 400 people gathered last Wednesday evening at the Wilson Performing Arts Center for a Night of Prayer and Remembrance for victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Although it was a night to remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the evening was also to remember heroes of the past.

Platte County R-3 Superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst presented an Honorary Diploma to World War II veteran Victor F. Fontanez.

"It is my pleasure to be here today. I am so happy to attend. This is something I have waited on for a long time. I thank Dr. Harpst and the people at the school," Fontanez said.

Fontanez was awarded an honorary diploma since he couldn't graduate with his class due to being called to serve in WWII.

The prayer service, hosted by the Platte City Ministerial Alliance, offered several community leaders a chance to discuss their feelings of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

"On Sept. 11, I experienced something for the first time in my life that I never felt before - I felt fear. I am proud of our schools, our town, our state for uniting in patriotism," Harpst said.

The VFW Post 4005 of Platte City presented the colors during the ceremony, while Jared Hall and Chris Triplett performed Taps.

Patriotic themed songs were performed by the Community Choir led by Trey Conlee. The audience was led by the choir in a group singing.

Prayers were heard from Dr. Michael P. Harding on behalf of rescue workers on Sept. 11, 2001. Leading prayers for law enforcement officials was Platte City Police Department officer Jeff Faudere.

Lt. Col. William Flynt, U.S. Army, led a prayer on behalf of military, past and present.

The evening was capped off by speeches from Captain Donald W. Hansen, Station Captain, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. and the Rev. Mike Davidson, Platte City United Methodist Church.