Town pays tribute to 9/11 victims and their loved ones

p1-911-ceremonyA solemn memorial ceremony in recognition of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was held outside Town Hall on Tuesday evening as community members gathered to remember the victims and support their loved ones.

A brilliant sunset washed over a large American flag that hung from the upper reaches of Town Hall during the ceremony, sharply contrasting the somber event, which was attended by several local organizations, including members of the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich Honor Guard, police department, fire department and all three of the town’s selectmen. State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149) also participated in the ceremony and both State Sen. L. Scott Frantz (R-36) and State. Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151) were in attendance.

 

The Rev. Christopher Tate of the Second Congregational Church of Greenwich and the Rev. Msgr. Alan Detscher of St. Catherine of Siena were also present and led attendees in prayers of hope, remembrance and healing.

Tony Savino, news director at WGCH Radio, was the master of ceremonies on behalf of the September 11th Remembrance Committee.

“The message of our ceremony this evening is one of remembrance, fellowship and peace,” Mr. Savino said. “Today we mark the day which the passage of time will never diminish in importance nor in the amount of pain it holds for so many. We gather as a community — not just a town community that lost fellow residents — but a community of Americans, people who believe in a way of life that is inclusive of all and strives continuously to live with liberty and peace. We remember the fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters that were taken on this day and we can stand proudly with the knowledge that we have shown the world how to overcome terror and adversity and continue to be and grow as a society that people from all over the world want to be part of.”

First Selectman Peter Tesei also spoke to the community, saying the town gathered at the ceremony each year to “collectively support the families who lost those that they hold most dear.”

Mr. Tesei also spoke of a recent influx of questioning as to whether or not the town would continue its annual Sept. 11 ceremony since the 10 year milestone was reached last year.

“We here in Greenwich are committed to annually hold this remembrance ceremony so that we can come together and support our neighbors, friends and family as they grieve and as they remember what they lost,” Mr. Tesei said in response.

The event is a “unified display of community and support to demonstrate to those who committed such heinous acts that they will never break our steadfast commitment to liberty and freedom,” he added.

Later in the ceremony, Ms. Floren (R-149) read aloud the names of the Greenwich residents who perished in the Sept. 11 attacks as a ceremonial bell was rung for each victim named and candles were lit in their honor.

Members of the police department, fire department, and Greenwich Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) also partook in the event by honoring their fallen comrades with a special salute.

At the close of the ceremony, the Honor Guard returned to unfold an American flag and display it proudly to those in attendance. Mr. Savino cited Christopher Hughes, who has organized past events and served as MC for the September 11th Remembrance Committee, saying last year that on the 10th anniversary he hoped “it was the end of the grieving and the beginning of the healing.” Mr. Savino said unfolding the flag and proudly displaying it was part of that healing,

Mr. Savino ended the evening by saying, “To the family members that have joined us tonight, please know that the entire town of Greenwich supports you.”

All photographs were taken by John Ferris Robben.

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