Last Sunday evening, on the 21st anniversary of September 11, 2001, the Town of Lloyd remembered those who perished on that fateful day at the World Trade Towers in New York City, at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and on Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This also includes 412 First Responders who made the ultimate sacrifice while trying to save others.
Fred DeMaio delivered the Invocation.
“Heal the hearts of those who lost loved ones, help those consumed or paralyzed by fear to be bold and courageous... and we know that even in the midst of the horrible tragedy of 911, we saw good overcoming evil, we saw people coming together, neighbor helping neighbor. Help us, heavenly Father remember to turn back to the good that came out of the evil of 911. We pray for your blessing today, O Lord for our community, our leaders and our citizens.”
Joe Avampato’s singing of the National Anthem was followed by remarks from Stephen DiLorenzo, Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners and a member of the department for more than 50 years.
“We thought it would never happen to us, but it did,” he said.
“In Highland we want to make sure that no one ever forgets.”
DiLorenzo said 10 years ago the department secured a piece of one of the structures that fell in New York City and placed it outside in front of the firehouse, surrounded by bricks containing the names of the firefighters who perished on that September day.
As he has done at every 911 remembrance ceremony, Leo Bozydaj released white doves, pointing out that after five turns above the firehouse they would return home.
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson said after 911, “We were not red states and blue states, we were all Americans...and I hope as we remember those horrific attacks that we also focus on how we were unified and perhaps we can come together again and go forward in unity for everyone in this country.”
Lloyd Supervisor Dave Plavchak said he remembers the TV news coverage showing, “burning buildings falling to the ground and people injured and covered with debris wandering around looking for friends or loved ones.” He said he was moved to see, “people putting aside their differences and helping each other get through this tragedy, whether it was consoling somebody, helping a person get to safety or whether it was delivering supplies. Many of them were complete strangers, but they had a common bond in that time. Seeing this reinforced why I am personally proud to be an American citizen and I hope we learn from this attack and come out being stronger.”
Police Chief James Janso said, “after September 11th we now wake up with a list of remembrances: remember to greet the sun each morning, remember to enjoy every meal, remember to thank your parents for their hard work and love, remember to honor those who keep you safe. Remember to value each person in need, learn to respect others and to appreciate life and remember to say I love you to loved ones every day.”
Fire Chief Peter Miller recalled that, “in one single moment life would never be the same. Tonight before you go to sleep kiss the ones you love, hug them a little harder and never take one second of your life for granted…Our children must be prepared to honor the sacrifices so many have made in support of this great nation. I am sure that if we remain unified we will inspire the world with our fortitude, strength and resilience.”
Miller urged everyone to guard against the rise of domestic violent extremism, “and support the rule of law and have decency towards one another. Recognize the differences among us and use them to continue to strengthen our nation, not tear it apart, and continue to make this place the best place on earth to live.”
Assistant Chief Jimmy Anzalone conducted the ringing of the bell, the traditional custom of rendering fire honors for the life and dedicated service of a departed firefighter.
Miller said, “With regret and with sincere honor we acknowledge the passing of the 343 FDNY firefighters who died on 911 and 254 additional members of the FDNY who died since 911 due to illness contracted while working on the pile at the World Trade Center.”
After a 21 gun salute by members of the American Legion Post 193, a call and response version of Taps was played by Joe Avampato and Peter Maroldt, members of Buglers Across America.
Bagpiper James Rugger played ‘Amazing Grace’ with Avampato leading the public in singing, ‘God Bless America.’
Fred DeMaio concluded the ceremony with a Benediction, saying, “Lord, help us to honor those who lost their lives on 911 by coming together in spirit and community but most of all, help us to learn how to live together so that hate disappears and love overflows.”