After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, volunteers from Carson City and the surrounding area came together to build a memorial that would "inspire patriotism and love of country" while paying tribute to those who lost their lives on that dark day.
A star-spangled dedication ceremony to honor and officially dedicate the recent completion of that memorial, a 65-foot-by-120-foot American flag on the face of C Hill, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.
Everyone is welcome, but come prepared to "feel the spirit," says Gil Ayarbe of the C Hill Flag Foundation, the cooperative of volunteers who expended copious amounts of energy, tears, time and sweat building and then rebuilding the monument after Mother Nature destroyed the first design during a December 2002 Sierra windstorm.
"Everything's going to be 'Spirit,'" says Ayarbe, referring to the "Spirit Trail," the revered footpath that leads from the saddle of the hill to the flag site.
"We're going to have Spirit relish for the free Spirit hamburgers and Spirit mustard for the free Spirit hot dogs."
Starting at about 10:45 a.m., a public address system will send patriotic music up the hill from the Paul Laxalt State Building, some 1,200 feet below.
Plans are for the National Guard to set off smoke grenades while attendees kick-off the ceremony with a recitation of "The Pledge of Allegiance."
Ayarbe says there are also plans for a parachute jumper, weather permitting.
Poet Jack Nealon is lined up to read some patriotic verse while C Hill Foundation President Robin Williamson is scheduled to emcee the proceedings.
"Everything's coming down to the wire," says Ayarbe. "Some things are still tentative. What goes on will go on. But you can bet it's going to be something special."
The event will also be a chance for the public to meet members of the C Hill Foundation as well as those who gave time and energy to the project, those who moved the 85 tons of building material up the steep mountainside and transformed the threads of an idea into a powerful national landmark - those like Mark Green, Mike Roach, Bill Miles, Greg Bierman, the Buscay family and the many Nevada Department of Forestry workers.
Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be on hand and Ayarbe says he's in the process of getting a color guard for the ceremony.
Ayarbe says that while local and state officials, including Gov. Kenny Guinn, have been invited to attend, he's not sure who will show up.
"Either way, I'd love to have a large crowd up there to make a statement," he says.
T-shirts commemorating the event will be available on the hill for $15 each.
n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.