Witnesses to 9/11 slated to speak at Tuesday remembrances in Wallingford

Witnesses to 9/11 slated to speak at Tuesday remembrances in Wallingford

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This year’s 9/11 remembrance ceremonies in Wallingford will feature remarks from people who were in New York City during the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

New Life Church is slated to hold its annual memorial service at 7 p.m. today at the church, 350 High Hill Road.

“Over the past 17 years, we’ve built up quite a network of speakers,” the Rev. Will Marotti said Monday. “Many people have come to expect that we’ll do it.”

Marotti said this year’s guest speaker, Martha LaGuardia-Kotite, was in the U.S. Coast Guard and stationed in New York on pregnancy leave on 9/11.

Her husband worked in Four World Trade Center, one of the shorter buildings that stood around the Twin Towers.

A past speaker recommended Kotite to Marotti.

The ceremony will feature a color guard from the South Meriden Fire Department and remarks from Wallingford Town Councilor Craig Fishbein and Meriden Fire Chief Ken Morgan.

“I’ve had the honor to do it for the last five years,” Morgan said Monday, “and I’m honored to speak again this year.”

Morgan said he plans to give his account of 9/11, the history and how it affected not only the first responders but also citizens who worked to save lives that day.

“They, too, were heroes in many aspects,” Morgan said. “They ultimately would give their lives, too.”

Last year, about 250 people attended.

“There’s always a representation of first responders from police, fire,” Marotti said. “Hunter’s sends an ambulance to stand on standby” symbolically, he added.

The town-organized remembrance ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in front of Town Hall. In case of rain, the program will move indoors to the Town Council Chambers. 

Robert Blanchard, who serves on the town’s Pension Commission, is slated to give a speech about his experiences and observations on 9/11.

The Mayor’s Office said that Blanchard worked 100 yards from the World Trade Center and was present at Ground Zero.

The town ceremony will feature posting of the colors by members of the police and fire departments, veterans and fraternal organizations and Boy Scout Troop 1. 

There also will be a bell ringing, once for every 100 victims, by the fire department.

Meriden’s ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall, and Southington’s ceremony will be held about 8:45 a.m. at the town’s 9/11 memorial on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Plantsville.



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