Sept. 11 Memorial Service promises to never forget
Always remember, never forget.
Wednesday, September 11, was the 18th anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in NYC and the Pentagon. The event and lives lost were solemnly remembered at the Warren County Memorial Park.
The evening began at 5:30 p.m., with Ed Seebeck, co-manager of the cemetery with his wife Ruth Seebeck, saying a few opening words.
The National Anthem and flag raising followed, performed by Jack Patterson and the John Gertsch Memorial Honor Guard.
The Warren County Civil Air Patrol performed the Missing Man Table. Unfortunately, the table was retired mid-service due to weather conditions.
A prayer was said, everyone rose for the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem was sung and then Jeff Eggleston, Warren County Commissioner, read the Commissioners Proclamation.
“Across America today, Americans are coming together in service of remembrance. We reflect on the nearly 3,000 lives taken from us so cruelly,” said Eggleston.
“We honor the courage of those that put themselves in harm’s way, we come together in prayer and gratitude with strength and compassion. Daily in Warren County our dedicated volunteers and paid firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, fire police and other public service are on call for whatever emergency arises. As Warren County remembers those lives lost on September 11, 2001, we honor those men and women who help keep us safe.”
Following was a speech from Ruth Seebeck and a moment of silence in remembrance.
“We say the words we’ll always remember and we never forget for many things, over the years we say goodbye and I’ll remember to those who touched our lives. We promised that we would never forget special days or events or people that somehow fade slowly from our consciousness,” said Ruth.
September 11, 2001 was the deadliest terrorist attack in world history.
“The statistics are chilling,” said Ruth.
The death toll claimed 333 firefighters, 23 police officers, 37 port authority officers, 8 EMTs and paramedics and 11 unborn babies.
The victims came from 115 different countries.
The oldest victim was 85, the youngest only 2.
8 children under the age of 12 were on the hijacked planes.
“The attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the crashed plane near Shanksville were more than horrific,” said Ruth. “3,000 people were killed that day, the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil.”
The Conewango Clippers sang and Paul Pascuzzi stepped up to speak on emergency services.
“It’s a time to reflect not only on the events of September 11, 2001, but also an opportunity to recognize the service of our public safety providers and military that protect us,” said Pascuzzi. “Most of Warren County is served by 18 volunteer fire departments, I’m honored to be here to represent these dedicated emergency providers.”
In September 2002, one year after the terrorist attacks, the National Volunteer Fire Council published a report on the role of the volunteer fire service on September 11, 2001.
375 volunteer fire departments were involved in the response and recovery from the terrorist attacks. In total 3,000 volunteer fire departments were involved, providing more than 75,000 hours of service.
In NYC, 2,600 emergency service personnel from 285 volunteer fire and rescue departments provided more than 43,700 hours of service.
Over 100 volunteer departments participated in response to the attack on the Pentagon. 1,830 volunteers provided almost 30,000 hours to the response and recovery of the Pentagon.
The crash of Flight 93 near Shanksville was handled by an all volunteer service made up of 55 volunteers from 10 departments.
“It’s these unexpected emergencies that the public finds out who we are,” said Pascuzzi. “And for my fellow volunteers, we drop what we’re doing, get in our trucks and we do the work until the work is done.”
“Warren County volunteer firefighters provide and invaluable service to their communities and in an effort to make their neighborhoods a safer place to live.”
Special recognitions were made for the veterans that have passed by Bunky and Mary Froman.
The bell of honor was rung.
The Junior Emergency Service participants were called up for recognition as well as Explorer Post participants.
Local firefighters and EMTs were called forward for recognition and thanks.
Military, current or former, that served in 2001 were called up and honored with an American flag each.
All remaining veterans were called for recognition and honor. There was even a World War II veteran present.
The Field Cross ceremony was performed by the John Gertsch Memorial Honor Guard.
The 21 Gun Salute was performed by the John Gertsch Memorial Honor Guard.
Taps were performed by Floyd moore.
Refreshments were served following the service.
“The heroes of 9/11 were those running into buildings while everyone else was trying to get out,” said Ruth.