Families to attend memorial service

Published 1:36 am Saturday, September 10, 2011

The families of two people killed in the events of Sept. 11 will be on hand Sunday as the City of Brewton and Brewton Fire Department join to host a memorial ceremony at Burnt Corn Creek Park at 8 a.m.

Tamara Thurman, daughter of Saundra Woolen of Brewton, was killed while on duty at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Allan Tarasiewicz, nephew of Leon and Essie Burnham of Brewton, was killed at the World Trade Center in New York City while he worked as part of the Rescue 5 team called to the site.

Leon Burnham said his nephew was special and his work took him to a place where he could help others on that day in September 2001.

“He loved his work,” Burnham said. “They found his body on the ninth floor after it was all over.”

Thurman was killed after a hijacked plan crashed into the Pentagon. Her office was located near the area of impact, according to family members.

Thurman, who was 25 at the time of her death, graduated from W.S. Neal High School in 1994 and entered the U.S. Army. She served in Bosnia, Korea and Germany before being posted to the Pentagon as assistant secretary to the Army’s chief of personnel about a year before her death. She was killed along with 183 others in the Pentagon, 2,702 in the World Trade Center and 40 passengers plus crew in a Pennsylvania rural area.

Woolen has told officials organizing Sunday morning’s ceremony that she will be in attendance for the event in honor of her daughter.

Brewton Fire Chief Lawrence Weaver said the ceremony planned will be one meant to honor Thurman and Trarasiewicz.

“We want to continue remembering those who were lost that day,” Weaver said. “Since we already have a monument in place at Burnt Corn Creek Park, it seems fitting that the ceremony would be held there.”

A Saturday morning ceremony is planned in East Brewton at the historic Fort Crawford Park just off Snowden Street.

A join effort of the Healthy Children – Healthy Choice/ Be Our Voice and the Escambia County RSVP organizations will begin at 9 a.m. The tree was a gift from Carol Graves of Garden Images.

Amy Cooley, RSVP director and member of the Be Our Voice organization, said the event is planned as an honor ceremony for first responders in the area.

A special Sunday morning service is planned at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and will be held as an honor to those who died in the attacks against the United States. Along with first responders, those who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be remembered during the memorial service and the holy Eucharist beginning at 9 a.m.

The Rev. Arnold Bush of Birmingham will give the sermon with patriotic music provided by Betty Jean Low.

As a finale for the weekend of commemorative services, a special community choir event will be held beginning at 6 p.m. at Jefferson Davis Community College’s Woodfin-Patterson Auditorium.

Todd Ray, coordinator for the event, said the patriotic and inspirational musical selections will be presented by a 100-plus-voice choir and a 28-piece orchestra. “We have 14 churches represented in this choir,” he said.

As part of the ceremony, Ray said those honored will include military personnel, first responders including fire, police and emergency workers, leadership and employees of city and county offices in Brewton, East Brewton and Escambia County. “We want to honor those who work to serve this community,” Ray said.

Pastors from five core churches involved in the special service will speak during the event.

Those include pastors from Brewton First Baptist, First Presbyterian, First Methodist, Christ Kingdom Ministries and First Baptist Church of East Brewton.

The services begin at 6 p.m. with seating for honored guests beginning at 5:30 p.m. Ray asked that honored guests be seated by 5:45 p.m. Seating will be open to the general public following seating of honor guests.