September 11th Must Always Be A Day Of Remembrance

September 8, 2009

Everyone will always remember where they were and what they were doing when terrorists attacked our nation on September 11, 2001. Parents remember the quick stab of fear they felt for their children. Husbands and wives immediately called each other to reassure themselves of their spouses’ safety.

Here in Connecticut, so many had someone dear to them who did not return home safe on that horrible day. For them, and for all in our nation who died or lost someone they loved, those of us fortunate enough to live in this great nation must never forget the victims, the survivors and the heroes of September 11, 2001.

Governor M. Jodi Rell has issued a proclamation to mark the annual Day of Remembrance for the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Her proclamation reads in part:

“As years pass and details fade, the heart of this occasion never loses its importance or impact. Events like this are first and foremost about people – the innocent people who lost their lives and those left behind to cope and heal It is also about honoring the hopes and dreams of those who perished, supporting those who feel loss and educating those who indirectly share in the experience . . . So let us use this anniversary as an opportunity to not only mourn and reflect, but to honor and grow. Although we all wish to avert tragedy, it may befall us just the same. When it does, let us be propelled to goodness in its wake. Let us never relinquish our basic commitment to one another in times of need, nor the ideals that our great Nation was built upon.”

Connecticut is still reeling from the loss of the 156 individuals with ties to our state who died in the terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001. Besides issuing the proclamation declaring Connecticut’s annual Day of Remembrance, Governor Rell made plans to attend the memorial service scheduled for September 9th at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. You may remember that the twin towers of the World Trade Center were visible from Sherwood Island before they were destroyed in the terrorist attack. Those who gathered there on September 11, 2001, and for several days after, could see the smoke. Our state prepared to use this location as a staging area from which to provide any assistance we could offer to New York City.

Today, Sherwood Island State Park is the site of Connecticut’s 9-11 Living Memorial, which includes an inscribed nine foot long memorial stone that visitors can read while facing the location of the fallen World Trade Center across Long Island Sound. The inscription reads: “The citizens of Connecticut dedicate this living memorial to the thousands of innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001 and to the families who loved them.” The publicly accessible memorial site is about one-third of an acre in size, and its design incorporates trees, shrubs, planters and granite benches.

Eight years later, so many of our nation’s brave military men and women continue to fight the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. In communities across the country, dedicated police officers, firefighters and other first responders continue to risk their lives to protect the lives of others as they did in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. We owe them our gratitude, and we owe them and their families our promise as citizens of this nation and of this state to never forget all they have done, and continue to do, for us.

Take some time on this September 11th to remember the events of that fateful day eight years ago, and to be grateful for all that our country still is despite the vicious attacks of those who would destroy us. Just as important, don’t let the opportunity pass to say “thank you” to the veterans, soldiers, police officers, firefighters and first responders you know. They and their families help to keep our nation strong, and free.