Valley Christian will host its annual Stars & Stripes night on Friday, Sept. 10 when the football program host Gilbert Christian.
The annual event honors first responders, veterans and active military personnel in attendance for the game. This year's event falls on the day before the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, when arguably the worst act of terror against the United States took place in New York at the World Trade Center.
A pre-game ceremony will take place to recognize the service from Chandler Police and Fire departments, as well as to honor the victims of the horrific attacks 20 years ago.
“With so many parents, grandparents, alumni, and members of our community who have served in the military or as first responders, this is always a special night for our school and a really neat tradition," said Bryan Winfrey, Valley Christian’s Director of Communications and Marketing, in a press release. "It is one of the ways during the year we intentionally seek to honor and recognize the heroes who protect and serve our community and our nation.”
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke is scheduled to attend to perform the pre-game prayer. Chandler Vice Mayor Mark Stewart will perform the coin toss.
All first responders, veterans, active duty military and their families will also receive free admission to the game Friday. They are also encouraged to participate in the halftime ceremony.
Those wishing to attend and take part are encouraged to sign up at govalleychristian.com. Pre-game activities are scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
"We believe it’s important to continue to educate our students - all of whom were not born that day - of the events of 9/11, the impact on countless lives, the heroic efforts of so many, and the lessons from that day – including how the country came together and was united," Winfrey said.
"This is one way we can do that while also celebrating the members in our community who put on a uniform, whether it be as a first responder or as a member of our nation’s armed forces.”