Last week the Town of Lloyd held a memorial ceremony at the Highland Fire Department to remember the nearly 3,000 people who were lost eighteen years ago in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington D.C. and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Boy Scouts of Troops 70 and 193, Cub Scouts of Troop 70 and Girl Scouts of the Hear of the Hudson Valley, followed by the National Anthem, sung by Alan Spaulding.
Supervisor Paul Hansut invited Fr. John Lynch, of St. Augustine Church, for an invocation.
“We ask our God, merciful and just, to grant us healing, peace and to strengthen us to share that healing and perfect peace with others,” he said. “May those who are at peace with one another hold fast to all the good will that truly does unite them and for those who are enemies to forget their hatred and be healed.”
State Senator George Amedore thanked Veterans and Law Enforcement for keeping the community safe. He said 911 attacks strengthened our resolve.
“We did not walk away, we united together. We did not create a divide or draw a line; we came together,” he said. “I encourage all of you to never stop praying for those families and loved ones that have suffered such great loss. May we as their neighbors give them the love and support they so deserve because to them, today is a painful day.”
State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson said he has never seen the country come together as it did after September 11th.
“It was coming together for what we believe in. Never take for granted the rights that we have and the Constitution that protects us and all the public servants here who protect us. Let us never forget and God Bless America,” he said.
Peter Miller, Chief of the Highland Hose Company, said we must call to mind those who helped rescue the victims of the attacks.
“If we forget those who gave and all the dedication and commitment of them and their mission, we lose track of our nation’s resolve and its mission,” he said. “We must not dissolve our relationships with our nation’s allies, our relationships across the [political] aisle, our relationships with our communities and our relationships with our neighbors and our relationships with those who have chosen to protect us.”
Miller said we should focus on our similarities instead of seeing the differences.
“As Americans we must support our nation, respect that conflict, when handled properly, strengthens us. Continue to support our military and fly the flag of the United States of America, not that it makes anyone more patriotic than the next, but shows our unity as a nation,” he said.
Lloyd Police Chief, Daniel Waage, recalled that during his military service, he had the opportunity to travel around the world.
“I’ve seen some beautiful places. I’ve seen some not so beautiful places, but I can tell you there’s no place like the United States,” he said. “The United States gives out opportunities like no other place does. I was a poor kid in Brooklyn and today I am the Police Chief in an upstate town; I don’t know if that opportunity would be anywhere else.”
Chief Waage said Americans could not forget 911, “even if we chose to, but let’s not forget the acts of heroism committed by Americans on that day and the days that followed because it is at times like this that the United States of America is in no short supply of heroes...Let’s not forget the Policeman who joined emergency services and fellow Americans in a common goal that day in running into danger when most would run away because Americans needed their help. These heroes did it because it was Americans helping Americans with no thought of race, creed or political preference but that they were Americans. I believe this kind of American spirit lives on in all of us.”
Fire Chief Peter Miller said striking a fire bell is a, “custom of rendering final honors that has its origin in the Fire Department of New York.” He said as far back as 1865 fire alarms were dispatched by a system of bells and telegraphs. He said there are five strikes made four times on the honor bell. The first set of five strikes signifies that the assignment and duties are done by the firefighter. The second five strikes are in memory of the departed firefighter and the third five strikes is a tribute to the firefighter’s life. The final fourth series of five strikes is in honor of the firefighter’s service.
“It is with regret and honor that we honor the passing of our faithful servants from the fire department of the FDNY; 343 firefighters died on the day and 204 since of 911 disease. We also honor the 23 Police Officers who died on 911 and the 241 who have died since of 911 disease,” he said.
2nd Assistant Fire Chief James Anzalone performed the ringing of the honor bell with all standing in respect.
A call and response of Taps was performed by Buglers Across America, Joseph Avampato and Peter Maroldt, as white doves were released by Leo Bozydaj. Jessica Avampato followed by singing “God Bless America.”
Fr. Lynch offered a final Benediction, concluding, “For all the people of this great nation who have suffered physically, emotionally, economically, mentally or spiritually because of these acts of terror; Bring them consolation, we pray to the Lord, Lord bring us peace.”
Supervisor Hansut, who chose not to run for re-election, said, “I personally would like to thank you for attending. This will be my last as Town Supervisor. It has been a true honor to lead this town and I have a lot of good memories.”
Hansut praised the Police and Fire Departments, the Lloyd Veterans Post and the Ladies Auxiliary, thanking them for everything they have done for the community.
“This is a great town and we in the Town of Lloyd will never forget 911. God bless you all,” he said.