In honor of those who died nine years ago in the 9/11 attacks on America, Gov. Edward G. Rendell has designated today as a Day of Service and Remembrance.

All United States and Pennsylvania flags at state facilities are being flown at half-staff in memory of the thousands of Americans who died that day. All Pennsylvania residents are being urged to fly an American flag this weekend to honor the victims.

A number of local observances are being held today.

A remembrance service will be held at 7 p.m. in the Lehighton Park Amphitheatre. The event is sponsored by Lehighton Interfaith Fellowship (LIFE). Those attending are asked to bring candles.

In Nesquehoning, a 9/11 service will be held at the Meed's Methodist Church starting at 7 p.m. The host will be the Rev. Ron Kuntz, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Nesquehoning.

In Monroe County, also at 7 p.m., American Legion West End Memorial Post 927 in Gilbert will host a 9-11 Candle Light Memorial Service. Guest speakers will include members of the State Police and the U.S. military.

The Tamaqua South Ward Playground is sponsoring a 9-11 Community Remembrance Service at 2 p.m. at the Hometown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Lafayette Avenue (SR54), Hometown. This location enables the 25 veterans who reside at the center to take part in the ceremony

A number of state and local officials will participate in the program.

"In response to the attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, physicians, nurses, military personnel, and other first responders immediately and without concern for their own well-being rose to service, in a heroic attempt to protect the lives of those still at risk, consequently saving thousands of men and women," Rendell said. "Hundreds of thousands of brave men and women continue to serve every day, having answered the call to duty as members of our nation's armed forces with thousands having given their lives, or been injured to defend our nation's security and prevent future terrorist attacks."

A full text of the governor's 9/11 proclamation appears on page 26.