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Poulsbo walk to commemorate 9/11

American Legion hosts Freedom Walk at noon Thursday.

POULSBO — Poulsbo pedestrians will be looking seven years to the past Thursday afternoon during a commemorative Patriot’s Day freedom walk.

American Legion Post 245 will host the nonpartisan event in conjunction with the nationwide America Supports You effort. The .75-mile walk is meant to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and honor war veterans past and present.

“It’s to remember 9/11,” said American Legion Post Commander Bob Theal. “This is just a no-brainer for me. We are an active post that believes in the community and just wanted to make it happen.”

Walkers will rally at noon at Poulsbo’s Parks and Recreation department on Front Street and will end at American Legion Park, also on Front Street. It’s one of only three walks being held in the state; two others are being organized in Everett and Spokane.

Theal said memories of the morning the attacks occurred are still going strong, as most were affected by it in some way. Theal’s daughter celebrated her 25th birthday on 9/11, making the event one he said truly affected his own family.

Also a part of the America Supports You effort in Poulsbo, a large American flag will fly from the National Guard Amory on Jensen Way. Navy Base Kitsap, the Poulsbo Fire Department, North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, Poulsbo Police Department and city council members will participate.

The national America Supports You tradition began in 2005 when Pentagon employees paid tribute with a walk from the Pentagon to the National Mall, according to the event Web site www.americasupportsyou.mil. Nearly 15,000 people took part. Since, the memory of 9/11 certainly hasn’t faded. More than 390 freedom walks have taken place in all 50 states and at military installations around the globe. Last year 255 communities participated, and every state was represented, along with eight nations overseas, according to the site.

Theal said he’s unsure how many will take part in the walk, but he’s hoping it becomes a regular occurrence in Little Norway. One hundred walkers are set to hit the streets of Spokane, while 1,500 are registered in Everett.

America Supports You is a Department of Defense program. It offers service members and their families access to nearly 400 homefront groups and 40 corporations providing assistance. It also facilitates the writing and sending of letters, e-mails and care packages, offers scholarships for military family members and helps returning wounded.

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