Remembering 9-11 after seventeen years
Special attention given to the eight Warwick 'fallen heroes and neighbors' who died that day

Warwick residents Anita and Pat Colman brought their Flag of Honor, which displayes the names of those who perished in the 9-11 terrorist attack.

WARWICK — On Tuesday evening, Sept. 11, the skies were cloudy and so it was unlike the sunny day 17 years ago when terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners, all bound for California and loaded with fuel, to attack the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an unknown target in Washington, D.C.
That last plan was foiled by the brave actions of the passengers on United Flight 93 out of Newark, which included one Greenwood Lake resident, Linda Gronlund, when it crashed in a western Pennsylvania field.
On this Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. Past Warwick Fire Department Chief Jason Brasier welcomed local residents, public officials, veterans and members of the Warwick Police, Ambulance Corps and Fire Departments and others gathered in Veterans Memorial Park who were there to honor the victims of that attack, especially those who lived in Warwick.
"As we gather today to remember our fallen heroes and neighbors," he said, "I ask that you please keep the members of the armed forces in your thoughts and prayers as they continually protect us."
Warwick Fire Department Chaplain Rev. Jack Arlotta, pastor of the RC Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, gave the invocation.
State and local officials gave moving talks about their memories of that fateful day and their appreciation for the sacrifices of the first-responders and the members of the military who are fighting against terrorism.
Mayor Michael Newhard also retold the history of the monument, inscribed with the names of Warwick residents who perished in the attack, and how a group of concerned citizens raised the funds and saw the project to its completion 15 years ago.
Justice Peter Barlet spoke about how times have changed since that day and he recalled a trip to Rome where he visited St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, home to the famous Pieta sculpture by Michaelangelo.
The guide had explained that the Pieta is now protected behind heavy glass because a crazed person had damaged it with a hammer.
A young lady asked how he was able to get past security, not a common practice in the 1970s, because in her lifetime, heavy security everywhere had become the norm.
During the ceremony representatives of the Police Department, Fire Department and Ambulance Corps laid wreaths at the Warwick Citizens World Trade Center Memorial.
Then everyone stood silently, heads bowed as Brasier read of the names of the local residents who perished in the attacks while Fire Department First Lt. Rob Pappas struck a ceremonial bell for each victim.
The ceremony concluded with playing "Taps," a benediction and the song, "God Bless America."
- Roger Gavan