On Saturday evening, Sept. 11, it was very much like the sunny day 20 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, most likely the Capitol building, 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 Warwick resident, Linda Gronlund, when it crashed in a western Pennsylvania field.
On this Sept. 11 at 5 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 many others gathered in Veterans Memorial Park who were there to honor the victims of that attack, especially people who lived in Warwick.
He asked those who were there on this significant year to remember our fallen heroes from this community and our armed forces in harm’s way who continue to protect our country.
Following the presentation of the Colors, the National Anthem and the invocation by the Rev. Jennifer Morrow, Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Mayor Michael Newhard gave moving talks about their memories of that fateful day and their appreciation for the sacrifices of the first responders and members of the military.
“What a sense of unity America felt after the attacks,” said Brabenec. “The American spirit is so resilient and was on full display in this country after the attack with flags flying everywhere. We must always remember to welcome our brave military home with so much gratitude and take care of them.”
During the ceremony three representatives of the Police Department, Fire Department and Ambulance Corps laid a wreath 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 Past Chief Frank Fotino struck a ceremonial bell for each victim.
The ceremony concluded with American Legionnaire John McDonald playing Taps, the playing of Amazing Grace and a recording of God Bless America.
- Roger Gavan