18 years later, Orleans remembers 9/11
Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Thaddeus Nauden of Waterport removed his hat for the Pledge of Allegiance during a Sept. 11 memorial observance this evening at the Courthouse Square.
Many local firefighters and law enforcement officers attended the service. They are standing near the Sept. 11 monument by the flag pole.
About 3,000 people were killed during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks including 343 firefighters, 60 law enforcement officers, and eight EMTs.
The Honor Guard does a 21-gun salute at the service today.
Scott Schmidt, the Orleans County chief coroner, served as keynote speaker for the service. Schmidt is a member of the U.S. Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team and deployed to New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. He spent 20 days in NYC at the Twin Towers scene.
Schmidt recounted a timeline form that day. At 8:46 a.m., the North Tower was struck. At 9:03, a plane hit the South Tower. At 9:37, the Pentagon was struck. At 9:59 p.m., the South Tower fell. At 10:07 a.m., Flight 93 crashed in rural Shanksville, Pa. At 10:28 a.m., the North Tower collapsed.
Schmidt assisted in the recovery, removal and identification of the dead along with the office of the chief medical examiner’
Besides the nearly 3,000 killed that day, 6,969 U.S. military personnel have died in Global War on Terror, and 2,100 people have died as a result of illness post-Sept. 11, Schmidt shared.
There was community remembrance a few days after the 9/11 attacks, and more than 2,500 attended the event, filling East State Street in front of the Courthouse.
Schmidt recalled seeing photos people sent him from Orleans County, with American flags on display everywhere.
“Those are the actions of a unified people and of a country that supports our right to be a free nation,” Schmidt said.
The nation won’t forget the first responders who charged into the buildings, and the many others who responded to help in the days and weeks that followed.
“We won’t forget the countless volunteers who cared for the injured, the dying, the dead, and the responders, as well as caring for each other,” Schmidt said. “We won’t forget the strength of America and of Americans.”
Don Snyder, a chaplain with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, gave the opening and closing prayer. He thanked God for first responders who put their own lives in peril to help others.
He urged community members to consider volunteering with their fire departments.
Jim Hollinger of Albion plays Taps near the end of the service. He is a member of the Marine Corps League.
A resident salutes while Taps is played during the memorial service.