Area towns are hosting ceremonies on Sunday to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Over 3,000 people died in the three attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. The fourth attack was targeted at the White House but the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers took control.
Meriden will host its annual remembrance at 8:40 a.m. outside of City Hall. A flag that flew over New York’s Ground Zero in the aftermath of the attacks will be raised and lowered to half staff, said City Councilor Bob Williams Jr.
Attendees will also hear the chiming of bells to mark the moments when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania field.
Fire Chief Ken Morgan said that annual flag raising carries much significance for city’s first responders as several of the city’s police officers and firefighters went to New York to help in the aftermath.
“It’s inspirational to us that the flag that we raised was actually flown down there,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that we do to remind us that things like this can happen and we have to be diligent to reflect on those who lost their lives and, unfortunately, continue to lose their lives due to it.”
Morgan also encourages residents to remember the first responders involved in the search-and-rescue efforts. Unfortunately, many first responders also continue to suffer and die from illnesses due to exposure to toxic air at Ground Zero, he added.
Wallingford will host a ceremony at 9 a.m. in front of Town Hall. Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson, Jr. said 9/11 had both a physical and emotional impact on the country.
“It happened amidst all of us in our neighborhood,” he said. “It had, and continues to have, a big effect on all of us.”
The guest speaker is Steve Brooks, a Wallingford resident and a member of the East Wallingford Volunteer Fire Department .
Students from Lyman Hall High School and Sheehan High School will also speak. The ceremony has included student speakers for many years now, said Dickinson.
“It’s important for the young people to also be aware of the day and express their thoughts as to what it means to them and perhaps their family,” he said. “I think it makes it an even more meaningful day for meditation and honor.”
The ceremony will be moved to the Robert F. Parisi Town Council Chambers in case of rain.
In addition, New Life Church, based in Wallingford, will host a ceremony at 6 p.m. at the church, 350 High Hill Road.
In Southington, the 9/11 memorial service will begin at 8:46 a.m. – the exact moment the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. It will be held at the 9/11 Memorial in Plantsville on the corner of Summer Street and Main Street.
The Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company will hold a ceremony from 6 to 6:30 p.m. at the Middlefield Fire Company 9/11 Memorial. The memorial is located outside firehouse, 406 Jackson Hill Road.
In Berlin, the Kensington Fire Department will hold a ceremony at 6 p.m. at the firehouse at 880 Farmington Ave.
The town of Durham will host a ceremony at 6 p.m. on the Town Green.
Reporter Michael Gagne contributed to this story.
Health Equity Reporter Cris Villalonga-Vivoni is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. Support RFA reporters at the Record-Journal through a donation by clicking here https://bit.ly/3dtcJdS. To learn more about RFA, visit www.reportforamerica.org.