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Reagan Library to be site of 9-11 Freedom Walk
ERIC LEACH, Staff writer

SIMI VALLEY - Hundreds of people are expected to gather at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on 9-11 for one of more than 100 Freedom Walks across the nation, held to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and show support for the nation's service members.

A Washington, D.C., walk is scheduled for Sept. 10, sponsored by the Defense Department's America Supports You program, and more than 100 similar events are scheduled in 49 states.

“This is a wonderful way to show our support; Simi Valley is a very patriotic city and a wonderful community to have this event,” said Debbie Gregory, president of Military Connection, an Internet-based resource for information for service members and their families that is sponsoring the event with the Reagan Library.

“We need to remember and honor those people who died,” Gregory said. “We also need to honor our troops. The men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan need to know that American people support them and their families.”

The walk will begin at 5 p.m. Sept. 11 with an opening ceremony featuring a Marine Corps League color guard in the library's courtyard. The walk will be about 1.8 miles, mostly downhill, to the Rancho Madera Community Park.

“We're really proud to be sponsoring a walk this year, and we hope it can become an annual event,” said Melissa Giller, the library's director of communications. “We want people of all ages to come out.”

Small U.S. flags and T-shirts will be given to the first few hundred people who register at www.militaryconnection.com.

Also, through the entire month of September, the library will accept small gifts to be shipped to members of the armed services overseas.

Giller said the library wants to send things such as snacks and entertainment items such as CDs, video games and prepaid phone cards.

For more information about giving gifts, call the library at (800) 410-8354. The library is at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley.

eric.leach@dailynews.com

(805) 583-7602