Community remembers Sept. 11, when nearly 3,000 died in terrorist attacks

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Jodi Genno, a member of the Albion Fire Department, salutes the American flag during a memorial ceremony today outside the Elks Lodge on the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when nearly 3,000 people were killed.

About 100 people attended a 10 a.m. memorial service today at the Elks. There will also be a 6 p.m. candlelight vigil by the Orleans County Courthouse.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley carries the American flag during the ceremony at the Elks. State Sen. Robert Ortt, back right, also attended and spoke at the service.

Hawley said the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks would unite Americans in grief and also in resolve. He praised the many first responders who heeded the call when the buildings were struck and the hijacked airplanes crashed.

Soldiers and their families continue to sacrifice as the war on terror continues, now longer than World War I, World War II and the Korean War, combined, Hawley said.

Albion firefighter Tim Irwin placed this helmet and lighted this candle during today’s service.

State Sen. Robert Ortt said he was 22 and a senior at Canisius College when the U.S. was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

Ortt would join the National Guard and would be deployed to Afghanistan. He said the terrorists may have knocked down two skyscrapers but they haven’t dented the courage and character of the country.

“We have a generation of Americans who are willing to raise their hand and charge into a burning building and wear the uniform,” Ortt said.

County Legislator Lynne Johnson speaks about the response from Americans following the Sept. 11 attacks, when first responders rushed to the scene of the attacks and other Americans throughout the country lined up to give blood. (Larry Montello, the memorial service organizer, is in back of Johnson.)

“The lessons of this event is not the mystery of evil, but about our need for each other and a never-ending reminder to our future generations who must stand firm against terrorism,” Johnson said.

She recalled the many American flags hanging from nearly every house.

“A tragedy like this could have torn our country apart but instead it has made us stronger,” she said.

Larry Montello addressed the crowd at the Elks. Today’s service honored firefighters, police officers, paramedics, soldiers, K-9s and citizens who died in the attacks.

Montello organizes the event to honor the memory of those lost, and to also recognize the service of first responders.

The service today included raising a memorial flag in honor of the victims in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Legislator Don Allport helped raise the flag. He said the country needs to stay strong in fighting terrorists.

“We need the patriotism shown after 9-11,” Allport said. “We need to put aside our petty differences.”

Allport also read a proclamation from Gov. Cuomo, who declared today “A Day of Remembrance and Reflection.” Cuomo, in the proclamation, said Americans rushed the need to New York City after Trade Center towers were taken down.

“All New Yorkers remain indebted to our fellow citizens and people worldwide who exemplified the limitless capacity of the human heart to give through extraordinary displays of comfort and support, and through countless acts of compassion and kindness during one of the most trying times in our state and nation’s history,” the governor wrote in the proclamation.

Several firefighters and police officers attended the service today in Albion.