200 attend 9-11 remembrance service in Orleans County
Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – A giant American flag is held high over Main Street in Albion from the ladder trucks of the Albion Fire Department and the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company.
The county held a remembrance memorial service of the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.
David Wells, a Marine Corps veteran from Medina, was part of the Honor Guard during the service at the Courthouse Square.
Several law enforcement officers attended the service, including, from left: Sgt. Dave Foeller, Deputy Jeff Cole and Investigator Shannon Brett of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.
Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said that in the hours and days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, “America came together like never before.”
She recalled seeing American flags out on “house after house, street after street.”
The country was united in mourning the loss of life and in its response to terrorist attacks.
“There will be no forgetting September 11th,” Johnson said. “It is burned into our souls – those graphic pictures, the smoldering ash, and the endless funerals. We must hold on to our remarkable capacity to mourn those we have lost, be they friends, family or total strangers. Honor the value of all lives. They mattered on September 11th, so must all lives matter today.”
The service was held by the Sept. 11 monument at the Courthouse Square.
There were about 200 people who attended the service, including this group of local firefighters. During the terrorist attacks 19 years ago, 343 New York City firefighters were killed. There were also 60 police officers and eight paramedics who died in the attacks.
Scott Schmidt was the keynote speaker and one of the organizers of the observance. Schmidt spent three weeks with a federal team – U.S. Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team – and assisted in collecting and identifying remains, and interviewing family members searching for loved ones. He left for New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. He was there for 20 days, including a week at Ground Zero.
Schmidt, the county’s chief coroner and a local funeral director, urged people to not let the daily stresses distract them from remembering the loss of life on Sept. 11 and the response that followed. He recalled how the community came together to prayer and in person with friends and family. The community and country was “one” in its mourning.
“Today on the 19th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in the history of our nation, we will never forget the attacks on our freedom,” Schmidt said. “We will never forget those who have fought for our freedom in years past and in present day.”
Dale Banker., the county’s emergency management director, shared a timeline from 19 years earlier. On Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:46 a.m., the North Tower was struck in New York City. 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.
Three local pastors – Aleka Schmidt of the Albion First Baptist Church, Susan Boring of the Eagle Harbor United Methodist Church and Susan Thaine of the First Presbyterian Church of Albion – sing “We Will Be a Shelter for Each Other.”
Al Pulcino of Holley plays Taps from the steps of the Orleans County Clerks’ Building. In front of his are members of the Honor Guard, Randolph Wells at left and Steve Johnson.
Dan Anderson and Eric Delano fire their guns during a rifle volley during the service. They are both from Medina.
Don Snyder, a chaplain with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, said he is thankful for first responders and other volunteers who serve the community.
This group of law enforcement officers attended the service. Sheriff Chris Bourke is at far left.