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updated: 7/20/2011 4:48 PM

Batavia may repeat 9/11 luminaria ceremony

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  • A Batavia girl lights one of the approximately 3,000 luminarias placed along the Batavia Riverwalk Sept. 11, 2002, during a rite marking the anniversary of a terrorist attack on the United States. Mayor Jeff Schielke has proposed re-creating the rite this year for the 10th anniversary.

       A Batavia girl lights one of the approximately 3,000 luminarias placed along the Batavia Riverwalk Sept. 11, 2002, during a rite marking the anniversary of a terrorist attack on the United States. Mayor Jeff Schielke has proposed re-creating the rite this year for the 10th anniversary.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke wants to re-enact a luminaria ceremony for the city's Sept. 11 10th anniversary memorial rite.

He announced his idea at the Batavia City Council meeting this week.

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Schielke said he thinks it would be an excellent project for a reorganized Batavia ACCESS group to do. ACCESS -- Action Committee for Community, Environment and Social Services -- was formed in the mid-1980s. The volunteer group has organized toy drives at Christmas and fireworks for the Fourth of July, among other projects. But membership has dwindled, and last year one of its stalwarts, toy drive co-chairman Mildred Bailey, died at age 83.

The luminaria project would "show that Batavia ACCESS is alive and well," he said.

The ceremony would mimic the one held Sept. 11, 2002. That evening, volunteers wrote the names of the attack's 2,977 victims on white paper bags, in which candles were set. The luminarias were placed along the Riverwalk and lit after a brief ceremony. There's money in an ACCESS fund the city oversees to pay for the supplies, he said.

Schielke is looking for people to lead ACCESS. About 50 people showed up at a meeting in January to gauge interest. He is conducting another meeting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 to establish leaders and develop a structure for the group, he said. The meeting will be in the council chambers at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

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