By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
July 28, 2008 - Individuals and organizations around the globe are planning special commemorations to mark the quickly approaching seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. So far, nearly 185 America Supports You Freedom Walks are scheduled to take place on and around Sept. 11. Of those walks, eight are scheduled overseas, in Heidelberg, Germany; Santa Rita, Guam; Baghdad; Vicenza, Italy; Iwakuni, Japan; Moron, Spain; and Seoul and Daegu, South Korea.
America Supports You is a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.
"The America Supports You Freedom Walk continues this year as a national tradition to commemorate the lives lost on 9/11 and honor our veterans past and present," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications and public liaison. "This will be a special year for Department of Defense employees, as the National America Supports You Freedom Walk begins a week of commemorations culminating in the opening of the Pentagon Memorial on 9/11."
Colton Lockner, 11, who organized his first America Supports You Freedom Walk two years ago, is organizing two this year. One will be held in Sebring, Ohio, and the other in Lake Milton, Ohio.
Joey Rizzolo, 13, is organizing Paramus, N.J.'s second America Supports You Freedom Walk. This walk comes on the heels of Rizzolo's recently published guide to organizing a Freedom Walk, "20 Steps to a Freedom Walk."
The national America Supports You Freedom Walk will be held on Sept. 7. The walk, which has become a national tradition, calls on people to reflect on the lives lost on Sept. 11, remember those who responded, honor veterans past and present, and renew commitment to freedom and the values of the United States.
The fourth annual national walk will begin at the Women's Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery at 9 a.m. About one mile later, the walk will conclude in the Pentagon's south parking lot, adjacent to the site where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. A musical tribute is being planned immediately after the walk.