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A launch of 500 red, white and blue balloons to show solidarity will be the highlight of a memorial ceremony sponsored by the Depew Volunteer Fire Department at 6:30 p.m. today in Veterans Park on Terrace Boulevard in Depew. All firefighters and their families are invited to attend, along with the public.

The lord mayor of Dortmund, Buffalo's sister city in Germany, has sent a letter to Mayor Anthony M. Masiello offering condolences following the terrorist attack on New York City and Washington, D.C.

"We Dortmunders feel ourselves most deeply bound to you and the people in our sister city of Buffalo," Mayor Gerhard Langemeyer wrote last Wednesday. "We share your sorrow over the people who lost their lives or their health in these diabolical attacks. We share the pain and suffering which these incomprehensible inhumane attacks have set loose among the citizens of the City of Buffalo and everywhere in the United States.

"At this moment, as I write this letter, a memorial ceremony is beginning at the Peace Column in Peace Square in front of our City Hall, at which Dortmund citizens, above all young persons, arrived spontaneously.

". . . We are one world, a society of people and states, and attacks of this kind, like what was inflicted yesterday on New York and Washington, affect us all.

"In the name of all Dortmunders, I extend to you and the citizens of our Sister City Buffalo my deepest condolences. May you find the strength and spirit to find the way out of this tragedy and to go on. We stand at your side."

LITTLE VALLEY -- Cattaraugus County Sheriff Ernest J. Dustman said his department is participating in the Hero's Fund, established statewide through the state Sheriff's Association.

All donations will go directly to help surviving members of police, fire and emergency medical services personnel.

Checks can be made out to the Hero's Fund and delivered to the sheriff's office at 303 Court St. All donations are tax deductible.

OLEAN Four men from the Trans Am Ambulance Services paramedic squad have been dispatched to New York City to assist the fire department.

They are Mike Cleveland of Salamanca, Wes VanValkenberg of Machias and Adam Schulenberg and Tim Richardson of Olean.

They responded with a paramedic ambulance and support vehicle.

The squad is part of the United New York Ambulance Network's 21-ambulance, 84-man response team to provide relief and assist crews that have been working in the ongoing rescue and recovery operations.

YORKSHIRE -- School districts in Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties have launched support efforts in response to the attacks.

The Pioneer Central School District hopes to raise money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, while Warsaw Central School Friday had a schoolwide assembly meant to remember the victims of last Tuesday's tragedy.

All Pioneer students, teachers and residents are also invited to submit patriotic posters, poetry or prose on the terrorist attacks. School officials said all posters and written work will be shown in the Pioneer High School foyer Oct. 2.

A can and bottle drive for the relief effort is being organized by Pioneer. A district account has been set up at the Can & Bottle Return, a Route 16 business in Delevan. The company will provide collection barrels at each of the district's four buildings.

The Pioneer High School chapter of National Honor Society is collecting the drive donations in exchange for red, white and blue ribbons that can be worn. Proceeds from the fund-raisers will be funneled to the Red Cross through either Tops Markets or HSBC. School officials said both companies agreed to match public donations dollar-for-dollar, to an amount that has yet to be determined. For more information, call Pioneer High School principal Terry Grajek at 492-9333.

At Warsaw High School, students and staff displayed many flags Friday in front of the Route 19 school. Students also attended an assembly about on the attacks.

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