WSFD marks 10-year anniversary with 9/11 Memorial

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Wed., Sep. 14, 2011
The West Stafford Fire Department dedicated and unveiled its 9/11 Memorial on Sept. 11. The memorial includes a piece of steel beam from the World Trade Center's North Tower. Photos by Lauri Voter.
The West Stafford Fire Department dedicated and unveiled its 9/11 Memorial on Sept. 11. The memorial includes a piece of steel beam from the World Trade Center's North Tower. Photos by Lauri Voter.

On Sept. 11, at 10:28 a.m., the West Stafford Fire Department placed a portion of steel beam from the World Trade Center's North Tower atop its long-planned 9/11 memorial. The time was carefully chosen not only to complete the memorial in time for its 2 p.m. dedication ceremony and unveiling, but also to coincide with that same instant 10 years ago when the North Tower crumbled to the ground after being struck by a plane during the terrorist attacks of that day.

In his opening comments, master of ceremonies and West Stafford Fire Department Deputy Chief Joseph Comarella said, “Two thousand, eight hundred and nineteen people – 10 years ago today, that's what we lost in New York – 343 firefighters, 23 members of the New York Police Department and 37 Port Authority police.” Among them, he noted, were many civilians, innocent lives that were lost when the towers and the Pentagon were attacked, and when the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa. “We're here to... remember those people,” said Comarella.

In addition to bagpipe music, as well as representation from the Stafford VFW and AMVETS, the day's events included the raising of the flag and recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Boy Scout Troops 81 and 8150, the singing of the national anthem and “Nearer My God to Thee” by the Stafford High School Madrigals, remarks by local dignitaries including Stafford First Selectman Michael Krol, state Sen. Tony Guglielmo, state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi and Judge of Probate Timothy R.E. Keeney.

“Flight 93 [was] 40 people who started out in the morning on a flight, all strangers... all of a sudden, they are involved in this horrific event of historic proportions,” said Guglielmo, who said the actions of the passengers and crew of that flight, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa., may have saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

“...Our town has a permanent memorial of one of the most significant, historical events in American history... We can come here and touch this memorial, and feel it and hear the echoes of our own American tragedy, and we can use this piece of broken, yet still strong steel, as a reminder that Americans are strong, Americans are resilient,” said Bacchiochi.

WSFD Chief Joseph Lorenzetti, who, through a lengthy process, was instrumental in securing the World Trade Center artifact for the WSFD's 9/11 Memorial, thanked the members of the WSFD and Ladies Auxiliary who served on the memorial committee, and thanked local companies for the in-kind services they provided in support of the project. Lorenzetti said that “through the grace of God, and the people who interpreted” the applications, the WSFD was granted a piece of the World Trade Center. “We were given what is now known to us as Beam 8665... which came from the 20th floor of the south side of the North Tower.” Lorenzetti concluded his talk by ordering the unveiling the 9/11 Memorial, which was dedicated by a prayer and a poem.

The WSFD's 9/11 Memorial is open to everyone. Members of the community can visit, view and touch the 9/11 Memorial, which will subsequently be accented by benches and lighting.

Send comments and story ideas to Lauri Voter at lvoter@remindernet.com.
 


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