20th anniversary Sept. 11 service planned for 6 p.m. Saturday

Photos by Tom Rivers: 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 on Sept. 11, 2020.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 September 2021 at 10:20 am

ALBION – A large contingent of firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMS and other first responders are expected for a Sept. 11 remembrance service on Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.

The service will be at 6 p.m. on the courthouse lawn near the Sept. 11 memorial. Lynne Johnson, the Orleans County Legislature chairwoman, is expected to give the welcome for the event.

When she spoke at the service last year, she 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.”

Scott Schmidt will again serve as the keynote speaker at 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.

“This is our generation’s Pearl Harbor,” Schmidt said today. “It is one of those things you’ll never forget where you were or what you were doing that day.”

Schmidt said Orleans County rallied and was united after the attacks and showed their support for the military and grief of the lives lost with numerous American flags displayed on homes.

He said his comments on Saturday will have a theme of not taking things for granted. The United States nearly 20 years ago was attacked during a time of complacency, he said.

This group of law enforcement officers attended the service last year at the courthouse lawn near the Sept. 11 memorial. The public is welcome to attend a service at 6 p.m. this Saturday at the courthouse lawn.