NORTHWEST CORNER — “Let us not forget the sacrifices, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifices, in their efforts to help and serve others,” Torrington Fire Department Chaplain Charles Warner said at the beginning of the 9/11 commemoration ceremony. “Let us remember that freedom comes at a price. There were many sacrifices made to strengthen freedom that came from that day.”
The fire department’s commemoration ceremony was one of many somber ceremonies held throughout the Northwest Corner on Saturday, Sept. 11, which marked 20 years since 9/11.
September 11, 2001, was the deadliest terrorist attack in human history, with 2,977 deaths, and 25,000 injuries.
On that morning in 2001, four airplanes were all hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists.
One plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, with a second plane hitting the south tower, which led to the collapse of both buildings within two hours.
A third flight crashed into the west side of the Pentagon.
While a fourth plane heading towards Washington D.C. crashed into a field at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers attempted to regain control of the plane to divert it from its intended target.
Torrington’s ceremony was held at the department’s North End Station, where, back in 2011, a 9/11 memorial was installed with a steel beam from the World Trade Center’s North Tower Lobby on permanent display.
“This is a day to remember and reflect on the last two decades,” Firefighter Neal Wescott said. “Many are still feeling the effects of what happened 20 years ago. Let us not forget about those who have stepped up to defend us. We still have men and women who are protecting this great nation by serving us. Freedom comes at a price. As we remember the tragic events that happened on September 11, 2001, we celebrate the freedoms we continue to have because of the sacrifices that were made on that day and continue to be made everywhere for those who protect, defend, and serve us.”
Meanwhile, in Norfolk, the town’s Fire Department held its ceremony.
The department dedicated a 9/11 monument in front of its firehouse in a ceremony, with the bell in front of the firehouse tolling at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., and 10:03 a.m., the exact times of the four terrorist attacks.
In Colebrook, a ceremony was held at Colebrook Consolidated School, just after a soccer game.
Members of the town’s fire department, along with local Boy Scouts, participated in the event.
The event was co-organized by Katie Martin, part of the town’s recreation department.
“This is a very important day, not just for the community, but also the nation,” Martin said. “It’s important to come together to remember those who died that day and those who served us since that day. Not just military, but also local fire departments, police, and EMTs. Communities need to come together as a whole.”
Photos by Shaw Israel Izikson