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9-11 events planned for Monday

Monday marks 16 years since terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and two Alexandria events are planned to remember that day.

Beginning at sunrise on Monday, Sept. 11, nearly 3,000 flags will wave on 3-M property on Broadway Ave. to commemorate each of the 2,977 victims of the terrorist attack in 2001.

At about 9 a.m., the time when an airplane flew into the first of the World Trade Center towers, the Douglas County Sheriff's Honor Guard will file onto the property and stand guard.

"I just think we need to remember the strength, the pride and the freedom of this country," said Marilyn Ingebrigtsen, one of the event organizers. The display is aimed at recalling the horrific attacks of that day as well as how terrorism has changed the world and how the country's armed forces are fighting it, she said.

The flags will be set up in two columns commemorating the Twin Towers, while three larger flags behind them will symbolize the towers and the Pentagon.

Also on Monday, a blind man whose guide dog helped him escape the towers that day will speak at Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon from 11:30-1 p.m. at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria. Ticket sales are now closed for that event.

Michael Hingson, who has been interviewed by Larry King and written a best-selling book about his escape, was working on the 78th floor of Tower One when terrorists flew airplanes into the towers. His dog Roselle led him safely among crowds of people escaping the towers.

During the chamber event, he'll speak on "The Power of Trust and Teamwork: Lessons from 9/11," accompanied by his current guide dog, Africa.

Besides telling the story of his escape, Hingson will deliver a message about trust and building relationships that can be useful on the job or at home. Hingson will also sell copies of his book,"THUNDER DOG: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero." Blind from birth, Hingson is an Eagle Scout and has a master's degree in physics.