AMELIA KUNHARDT/The Patriot Ledger
J. KIELY JR./The Enterprise
|A strong onshore wind was blowing as Hull residents and officials gathered yesterday evening at the Bernie King Pavilion on Nantasket Beach for a ceremony marking the fifth annivesary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Across the South Shore and beyond, moments of remembrance
Vigils and ceremonies commemorating Sept. 11, 2001 focused on the attack as one that has changed lives forever. From Hull to Taunton residents remembered those lost and expressed pride in the nation.
|"Tribute in Light" streams to the sky in New York City to commemorate the anniversary of Sept. 11.
In Abington, more than 30 people held a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. in front of Town Hall on Gliniewicz Way. The Rev. Stan Duncan, pastor of the United Church of Christ in Abington, led the group in a prayer of remembrance for the victims of Sept. 11.
He described those who died as “good people, decent people, innocent people who were lost.”
Town Clerk Linda Adams handed out candles as the crowd sang “God Bless America” in the fading sunlight.
Five years after the terrorist attacks, “it still brings out a lot of patriotism,” observed Selectman Joseph Murray. “It’s nice to see people still remember.”
Resident Shawn Reilly said, “I am still very proud of my country. I am very proud to be an American.”
Sept. 11, 2001, was what pilots call a severe clear day.
At the memorial ceremony held at Hingham’s fire department headquarters, Fire Chief Mark Duff started by pointing out the similarity in weather. While the memory of that day five years ago is still fresh in many people’s memories, several children at the ceremony were born after the terrorist attacks. Others were too young remember the events of Sept. 11.
Several members of Hingham’s Boy Scout Pack 27 served as flag bearers for the ceremony. People driving down Main Street honked their car horns and waved. One of the Scouts, Sam Ryer, was just 4 years old on Sept. 11, 2001.
“He watched it on TV with me. It was kind of intense for a 4-year-old, but he got it. He still gets it,” said Sam’s mother, Susan.
The ceremony, first held in 2002, has stayed the same each year. Duff said he considered changing the format but decided to keep it “simple and poignant.”
Fire Lt. Mark Shores played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, just as he did at the four previous ceremonies. His daughter, Caitlin, 4, and son, Cameron, 3, watched intently and saluted along with their father and the other firefighters. Like others in the crowd, they held small American flags. “It’s an honor to be able to do this in the memory of those who died. It’s the least I can to to honor their sacrifice,” Shores said.
Firefighters twice sounded the 5-5-5 signal, which is used when a firefighter has died. The first time was for those who died in the World Trade Center’s south tower and at the Pentagon. The second was for those who died in the north tower and the people on Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.
Many Hingham firefighters knew people who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Duff helped at Ground Zero in New York after the catastrophe.
During events at the Bernie King Pavilion in Hull, Cornelia “Connie” Hagerty described Sept. 11 as “one of the most overwhelming events of my whole life. That’s why I’m here.”
Mathew Lalama cited a family link to the tragedy to explain his presence at the town observance at dusk remembering the terrorists attacks of five years ago.
A distant cousin named Franco Lalama, who worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, died in the airplane attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, Lalama said. He said his cousin probably died helping others. .
Lalama, 36, had small American flags extending from both vest pockets of his denim jacket.
“To pay tribute to the United States of to the United States of America,” Mathew Lalama’s mother Marie Lalama said, “and all the people that we lost and the people who are fighting in the war.”
Gary Bloch arrived carrying an American flag measuring about 21/2 feet by 5 feet on its wooden staff. He attended the observance with his family as “just a small way to show them (terrorists) you’re not going to defeat us.”
Hagerty, the Lalamas and Bloch were among more than 150 people solemnly gathered at the windswept pavilion on Nantasket Beach to mark the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Selectman Chairman John Reilly, master of ceremonies, later estimated turnout reached 200.
Participants included uniformed delegations from the Hull police and fire departments, Coast Guard and James W. Richardson VFW Post and women’s auxiliary, Reilly said.
Reilly recalled that Sept. 11 five years ago was a clear, beautiful day. When the first aircraft hit one of the twin World Trade Center towers, he thought maybe it was pilot error, Reilly said. But when the second plane hit, Reilly said, “then we realized our country was under attack.”
“I’m here to tell you that terrorism today is alive and well,” Navy reservist Keith Jermyn from Hingham, who spent most of 2005 in Iraq on active duty with the U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27, warned.
Dressed in desert camouflage fatigues, Jermyn, 39, said the battle against terrorism can be won but will be a long one.
The program ended with Alex Nuesse of Hull, a student at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, leading the gathering in singing “America the Beautiful.”
Margaret Buckley of Plymouth is reminded of the attacks whenever she sees a movie or documentary about the events of that day.
She says that’s a good thing. “It’s very important that it doesn’t become just a part of everyday life,” Buckley said. “It’s important that we take time to reflect. The more you see about it, the more you remember what it was like.”
Buckley and her daughter Mary Beatson, both Plymouth residents, attended the memorial service held on South Spooner Street in front of a 9-11 memorial commissioned by Selectman Richard Quintal.
“We felt it was our duty to be here today,” Beatson said. “It was important to remember the victims of the attacks.”
Beatson grew up in Madison, Conn., and lost a childhood friend, Peter Gelinas, and a former neighbor, Diane Snyder, in the attacks. Gelinas worked at the World Trade Center. Snyder was on American Airlines Flight 11.
More than 100 residents, state and local officials, and veterans attended the memorial service. Town Manager Mark Sylvia opened the service by remembering Jennifer Kane, who grew up in Plymouth and died in the attacks.
Kane, 26, was an accountant with Marsh & McLennan Companies. She worked on the 100th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower. There were no survivors above the 90th floor.
Quintal did not lose a family member in the terror attacks but was moved by the enormity of the tragedy. “It (building the monument) was the right thing to do,” he said yesterday. “There are a lot of tears here.”
Quintal said people stop by throughout the year, but especially near the anniversary. Many leave flowers or other tokens of remembrance.
“A couple from New York was here last weekend and thanked me for the memorial,” Quintal said. “They suggested I design one for Ground Zero.”
Quintal’s memorial consists of tall black granite stones standing like sentinels in a small park paved with stones. The granite markers bear the names of 9-11 victims. A low stone wall that doubles as a bench surrounds the park.
The Rev. William Fillebrown, the fire department’s chaplain, delivered the invocation and benediction. He called for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the exact time the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
“Our silence will unite us in our grief,” he said.
Plymouth police officer Paul Boyle played bagpipes during the ceremony.
Five years ago, Michael Cragin felt the presence of God on Humarock Beach.
At a remembrance ceremony, Cragin - talked about how he spent the early morning hours of Sept. 12, 2001, walking the beach thinking about his niece Diane Snyder. Snyder, of Madison, Conn., was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11 and died in the Sept. 11 attacks.
In the distance, he saw someone else walking. It was a neighbor and friend, Frank Adley. It turns out that Adley, an American Airlines pilot, was thinking about Snyder, too.
GREG DERR/The Patriot Ledger
|People at a 9-11 remembrance ceremony cast long shadows outside Scituate’s Humarock fire station yesterday morning. The ceremony was organized by Scituate Postmaster Bruce Wescott and sponsored by the Humarock Beach Improvement Association and the South Humarock Civic Association.
Adley had lived in Madison, Conn. His daughter was friends with Snyder, and he had helped Snyder get a job with the airline.
Cragin and Adley spent the morning talking and grieving together.
“I do not believe in coincidences,” Cragin said. “That meeting was meant to be. God lives on Humarock Beach.”
People - nearly 50 at times - gathered outside the post office and fire station in Humarock to honor Snyder and others who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks.
The somber sound of bagpipes wafted through the community as Postmaster Bruce Wescott shouted out the times when the hijacked airplanes took off. Later, moments of silence were observed. Drivers passing by stopped to listen as Humarock resident Stewart Fultz played taps on his trumpet.
The ceremony, held in front of the Humarock fire station, was organized by Wescott and sponsored by the Humarock Beach Improvement Association and the South Humarock Civic Association.
Adley, too, said he knew several members of the Flight 11 crew, including Snyder. He attended four memorial services after the attacks. “So I am personally and emotionally attached to that day and this day, as you are,” he told the crowd.
Paul Parys, a Southwest Airlines pilot, said he especially thinks of the flight crews when he thinks of Sept. 11. “I don’t think they could ever imagine when they got up that morning that they’d be fighting for the lives of themselves and their passengers,” said Parys, one of several invited speakers for the event. “Those flight crews and passengers were truly subjected to the definition of terror.”
People who attended the ceremony were given commemorative flags bearing the message: “We will never forget.”
Several people said Sept. 11, 2001, is a date that will live in infamy.
“Being here is just a somber reminder,” said Richard Mahanor of the South Humarock Civic Association, who had one of the flags tucked in his shirt pocket. “We are all here to rise up and stand again. We will never ever be taken down by terrorism.”
“It kind of brings it all back,” Humarock resident Robert Brian said. “It’s probably a good reminder for us.”
Taunton’s official Sept. 11 ceremony took place at the John Shea Apartments on Hodges Avenue.
Honored were Sept. 11 victims Peter A. Gay and Neilie Casey, as well as Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti, 30, of Raynham, who died in Afghanistan.
“I appreciated their including my son,” said Paul Monti of Raynham.
Among those attending were Peter A. Gay’s brothers and their families, including attorney David Gay, William and Cheryl Gay, and Thomas Gay.
David Gay spoke for the family, saying that while military action continues in response to Sept. 11, it is the simple acts of kindness that will defeat an enemy that is conducting an ideological war.
“We should remember how our country came together following 9/11, where police and firemen and others ... went and risked their own lives to save others,” he said.
Patrolman Mark Brady on bagpipes and Patrolman Michael Williams on drums accompanied the police and fire honor guards.
Donna Kulpa, Tamara Race, Diana Schoberg, Allen Stein and Kristen Walsh contributed to this report.