BRISTOL – Local communities will pay solemn respects to those who lost their lives 20 years ago in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 2001 with remembrance ceremonies.
On Sept. 11 2001, approximately 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was a day which many who witnessed the events as they unfolded swore they would never forget.
In Bristol, city leaders, members of fire department and the local police department will once again gather on Sept. 11 with residents outside of fire headquarters at 11 a.m.
“The monument area has recently been redone in anticipation of 9/11’s 20th anniversary,” Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said.
As in past years, a wreath will be laid before a stone monument dedicated to firefighters who died 20 years ago in the line of duty and the Dunbar Bell, which is dedicated to Bristol firefighters.
In past years, fire officers have also brought out a bell atop a black bench which is then rung 20 times, in four rounds of five, to honor the emergency responders who died in the aftermath of the attacks as they sought to free survivors from the rubble.
In addition, at 8:30 a.m., around the time of the attacks 20 years ago, St. Matthew Church will be sponsoring a “blue mass” in honor of police, firefighters, and EMS. This Mass will be open to the public.
In Kensington, the Volunteer Fire Department will be holding a 9/11 remembrance ceremony around 9:30 a.m.
“We’ll have a few folks that are speaking; our chief of police here in town, myself and our former chief who retired in 2018, Mark Lewandowski, he really spearheaded and completed the memorial for the department,” said Jeff Pajor, chief of Kensington Volunteer Fire Department. “We’ve invited the public and some of the other town fire departments and our police department to join us.”
The memorial has three pieces of field to represent the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania.
“We really designed our memorial to reflect what happened that day. It was really thought out well, so for us that memorial really recognizes all of those things, not just New York, not just Washington,” Pajor said.
There will also be a lying of a wreath during a portion of the ceremony, Pajor added.
“It’s amazing that it’s been 20 years already; it feels like it was yesterday. A lot of our younger members were really young or maybe not even born,” Pajor said. “It’s an important day and it’s an important day to remember especially for our younger folk.”
In Southington, town officials, members of civic organizations and members of the local police and fire departments will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the 9/11 Memorial which stands in the Plantsville section of town on the corner of Summer Street and Main Street.
The two granite monuments read “Dedicated to the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001” and “Dedicated to the police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel who gave their lives while aiding their fellow man on Sept. 11, 2001.”
At 8:46 a.m., the time of the attacks, remembrance services will be held. In past years, these have included the laying of wreaths on the monuments, the playing of the National Anthem and the singing of God Bless America.
In addition, Graham Nicholson, owner of Cadillac Ranch in Southington, said he will also recognize the 20th anniversary of 9/11 by letting active military, veterans with military ID, police and firefighters come in without paying the cover charge. The Star Spangled Banner will be played at 9 p.m., with possible musical accompaniment, and discounts will be offered on Hero Vodka. The company was founded by veterans and donates a portion of sales to veterans organizations.
In Plainville, town leaders and VFW Post 574 will sponsor a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at Memorial Park on Whiting and Maple Streets. Reverend Jim Caron of Faith Bible Church and chaplain of the Plainville Fire Department will be officiating. He will be joined by members of the Plainville Police Department, Plainville Fire Department and the VFW Post. The ceremony will include the Honor Guard, a gun salute and the playing of Taps.
There is no 9/11 event planned to take place New Britain, according to the Mayor’s Office.
Staff Writer Ciara Hooks contributed to this story
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.