Baylor To Hold Service of Remembrance on 9/11

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Sept. 6, 2011

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Baylor University will hold "Baylor Remembers: A Service of Remembrance" commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11, beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at Waco Hall on the Baylor campus. The service is open to the public.

Texas State Sen. Brian Birdwell, who survived the attack on the Pentagon on that fateful day, will be the featured speaker.

On Sept. 11, 2001, when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed just yards away from his second floor Pentagon office, Birdwell was critically wounded, suffering burns that covered 60 percent of his body, with nearly half third degree in severity.

Today, following 39 operations, months of hospitalization and numerous skin grafts, Birdwell has made a miraculous recovery. Despite physical limitations, he testifies not only to his physical healing, but the ultimate miracle of grace through Christ. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received that day. Upon retirement from the Army in July 2004, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Birdwell and his wife Mel are the founders of Face The Fire Ministries, a non-profit organization that supports critical burn survivors and wounded servicemen and women and their families. Together, they authored Refined by Fire: A Family's Triumph of Love and Faith, which chronicles their life-changing ordeal.

The service also will feature additional guests offering brief reflections on 9/11. The welcome and invocation will be given by Dr. Burt Burleson, University Chaplain, while Baylor President Ken Starr will offer closing remarks and the benediction.

The service also will feature special music. Baylor Brass - featuring Wiff Rudd and Mark Schubert on trumpets, Jeffrey Powers on horn, Brent Phillips on trombone and Kent Eshelman on tuba - will perform "Tribute" by Michael Kamen. Singer Sean Mitchell of Granbury will perform "Amazing Grace," while mezzo-soprano Soon Cho, accompanied by pianist Jeffrey Peters, will perform "Prayer of St. Francis" by Allen Pote.

For more information, contact Jana Hixson, director of community relations at Baylor, at (254) 710-1421 or

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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