Residents of two Mesa neighborhoods have come up with a soaring tribute for the 27 Arizona armed forces members who have died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Superman capes embroidered with the military personnel’s names will be displayed Saturday during an annual event to remember Sept. 11, 2001.
Resident Betty Brown said the idea for the capes came from a story she read about a father who before going to Vietnam gave his son a Superman cape and the son returned it before going to the Gulf War.
Organizers of Saturday’s event are trying to reach the families of the Arizona service members to present the capes to them, Brown said.
The Stoney Brook and Valencia neighborhoods, bounded by Greenfield, Higley and Brown roads and University Drive, held a Boy Scout-organized flag ceremony the weekend after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Each year since, residents have gathered for a memorial service and block party. Last year, more than 1,000 people attended.
"Those people (who were killed) had neighborhood lives as well, and this is one of the ways we can honor their memory," resident Preston Cameron said.
This year’s "Tribute to Our Heroes" will begin with a pancake breakfast in Valencia Park hosted by Boy Scout Troop 385.
A 200-flag procession, 50 each from the four corners of the neighborhood, will converge on the park for the 9 a.m. ceremony, where Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., will speak.
The free event will also have kids’ games, a competition between members of various branches of the military and displays from the Mesa police and fire departments.
What: "A Tribute to Our Heroes" Sept. 11 commemoration
When: 9 a.m. Saturday, preceded by 8 a.m. pancake breakfast and 8:30 a.m. flag procession
Where: Valencia Park, 633 N. Quail, Mesa