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Kanab locals honor 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance

In remembrance of the events of September 11, the US has declared the day a nationwide day of service and community remembrance - and the good people of Kanab turned out in force to keep that tradition going.

The crew who cleaned up the highway north of Kanab to the north Best Friends entrance. Photo and caption by Matt Brown.

September 11, 2022, just so happened to land on a Sunday, so the local organizers decided to have the service day on September 10. Kanab’s day of service and remembrance took the form of a list of community projects that everyone could come together and participate in; projects like cleaning up local highways and parks, repairing and maintaining trails and natural landmarks, fixing up museums and historical sites in the area and even repairing the community’s stock of flags and flag mounts used during national holidays.

Levi Clarkson and his father, Tim, scrape off old paint on fence at Heritage House. Photo and caption by Matt Brown.

The event’s organizers estimate between 120 and 130 volunteers turning out for assignment to specific projects, and a few more volunteers showed up directly to different projects of their choosing. The day’s work proceeded from 8 a.m. till around noon, with lunch provided to volunteers at 11:30 a.m. - thanks to Garkane for providing sandwiches and drinks.

The day of service in Kanab was a collaborative effort between local government leadership and community organizations like churches; one of the organizers said of the event “we want to distance this project from the idea that it’s the efforts of one organization, ‘just the city’ or ‘this church or that church.’ This is a community event, and we want to stress the widespread cooperation and participation from all the different sides and facets of our community, in today’s efforts and in future ones.”

And future events are indeed in the works; the day of service on 9/11 will be an ongoing tradition, but a few of the organizations involved in this year’s projects are looking to expand the scope of community events like this one. “We would love to see big community service projects expand - we’d love to have a regular attendance of around 200 for projects like this, and we’d really like to see events of this size happen more than just once a year. Keep an ear out around next March!”

Leisha Little and Gentry Glazier didn’t leave any stone unturned at Levi Stewart Memorial. Photo and caption by Matt Brown.

The results of this years’ service day can be seen in places like the trails to the Sand Caves north of Kanab, the Mansard trail at the Levi Stewart memorial park and in the new coats of paint on the fencing around the Heritage House Museum, just to name a few. In addition to those specific projects, many of the volunteers walked large portions of Highway 89 and Center Street, clearing trash, trimming lawns, maintaining sidewalks and gutters and cleaning up the cultural posts marking Kanab’s historical film figures - and keep an eye out for the flags that line the streets on the next patriotic holiday, some were repaired, and Best Friends donated 70 more brand new ones. Some of the volunteers also went above and beyond just the scope of the projects as organized; more than one private citizen expressed their thanks to volunteers who offered to clean up yards, weed gardens and shape up properties in Kanab’s neighborhoods.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered, organized or contributed to this year’s day of service and remembrance - for anyone who wishes to participate in next year’s events, get in touch with local community leaders, like city and county offices or local church leaders for further information. Given the opportunity, there will be further projects like this one associated with significant days during the rest of the year; as mentioned, pay attention around times like March for other service days.

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