By Lauren Zeugner
SYRACUSE — Approximately 50 people attended a 9-11 remembrance hosted by Syracuse American Legion Post 223 Saturday night, Sept. 11, at the Veterans Memorial in Crosson Mill Park. Just prior to the ceremony beginning all of the fire trucks at Station No. 1 were pulled out and their lights turned on.
Members of the post, Turkey Creek Fire Department and area police departments observed the 20th anniversary of a terrorist attack that brought the Twin Towers down in New York City, caused damage to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and caused the death of 44 on Flight 93 when passengers attempted to regain control of the plane from its hijackers only to crash into a field in Shanksville, Pa., with poems and prayers.
Post Commander Carolyn Gunder served as master of ceremonies for the brief service which began with Jonathan Piercy of the American Legion Riders, leading the singing of the national anthem and offering the invocation.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott was the featured speaker. He spoke of how Sept. 11, 2001, began as a bright sunny day.
“People went to work and about their normal lives that morning unaware of the evil that would be carried out against our nation and our citizens on this day. That many would never return home to their loved ones.
“Think about where you were at and what you were doing 20 years ago at 8:46 a.m.
“The first plane, maybe a tragic accident? The second airplane, we knew we were under attack. By who? Where would they strike next?
“Four airplanes hijacked by 19 terrorists, cowards, that day— American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were flown into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center; American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, which many believe was planned to strike the capital building, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa. Planes loaded with fuel bound from east to west. Two hundred forty-four passengers perished from the flights, not counting the 19 cowards.”
Scott pointed out 2,977 people were killed including 372 non-US citizens, not counting the terrorists; 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers, 55 military personnel and many others made the ultimate sacrifice that day trying to save the lives of others.
More than 6,000 were injured while the total number of those saved by others is unknown.
“Our lives changed forever that day,” Scott continued. “Eerie feeling when you looked into the sky and notices no airplanes.”
Scott noted the mastermind behind the attacks, Osama Bin Laden, ran away and hid until he was hunted down and killed by US forces on May 2, 2011.
“We must remain vigilant against those in this world that would seek to bring harm to our citizens, our country and our way of life. We must teach our children and grandchildren about this event in order to prevent history from repeating itself,” Scott said in closing.
After Scott’s remarks, Syracuse Officer Brandon Sipp read the law enforcement officer’s prayer. EMS Captain Quinn Hunter read the EMS prayer and Fire Captain Brian Simmons read the fire fighters prayer.
Scott Abbs then played Going Home on his bag pipes.
American Legion Auxiliary President Marquirie Emerick read a poem, “My 911 Falling Down Like Rain,” by Johnny Inferno. Tristan Mort, president of the Sons of the American Legion, read the poem “911, 2001”
Scott rang the bell three times in honor of those who died on 9-11.
There was a moment of silence, and the lighting of a candle for those who perished that day. After the placing of a wreath and a closing prayer by Piercy, there was a 21 gun salute by the American Legion’s honor guard.
The ceremony ended with Abbs playing “Amazing Grace.”