Even during this pandemic the Town of Lloyd took time to remember and honor those who were lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Highland Hose Company No. 1 hosted a special memorial ceremony, but for safety reasons, without the general public in attendance.
Hose Company President James Balint welcomed members of the Department and the Ladies Auxiliary, the Lloyd Police Department, the American Legion and Lloyd elected officials. Fire Captain George Monteverdi led in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Alan Spaulding singing the National Anthem.
Simultaneously, Leo Bojadaj released numerous white doves, long symbols of love and peace.
Fr. Frank Kumi, of St. Augustine Church, opened with a prayer.
“We call to you this day O Lord with the memories of 911 so heavily on our hearts when so many people perished on that fateful day,” he said. “We call on you today because you are our refuge and our strength and even in our worst moments your loving partners surround us. We also hope and pray for peace in the world among peoples and nations, religions and cultures until we become a loving community reconciled to one another.”
NYS Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson recalled that 19 years have passed since that horrendous day.
“It started out as any normal warm September day and we are here because we want to remember and never forget the victims of the vicious attack and all of the First Responders, all the people who ran back into the burning buildings and went towards the fire and towards the crumbling ashes to try to save their fellow human beings. The fireman and police didn’t wait for orders, they just said we gotta go and they did.” He noted that people in a plane bound for Washington D.C gave their lives to stop the terrorists and ended up crashing in Pennsylvania.
Jacobson recalled that after the attacks, “we put aside political, religious, racial or whatever kind of differences we might have and came together as a country. So I hope, as we remember those who lost their lives or put their lives on the line to help others, that we also remember that we are one country and that we should try to come together for a common good.”
Fire Chief Peter Miller urged everyone, “We must always remember these events that have had a significant impact on our nation and we must always remember and honor those who have served to defend our nation and to serve our communities within. Honor the military, firefighters, police officers and EMTs who have laid it all on the line for us. They are heroes and will always be recognized for the sacrifice they have made on our behalf; I thank you for doing so.”
Police Chief James Janso said, “9-11 was one of the most horrific acts of terrorism that was carried out on United States soil. This tragedy brought about an unexpected wave of patriotism and a sense of community.”
Janso said in the aftermath of 9-11 stores immediately were sold out of American flags that were proudly flown at homes and businesses across the nation. People then were looked upon as Americans, “before class, culture, religion or being judged for their political ideology. We hugged neighbors and strangers without a care of their differences or for their clothing style, preference in food, or sports teams...I pray we never forget our fallen heroes and that we as a country find our way back to the days immediately following September 11th. In the recent past, where instead of being divided by our differences, we stand united in the greatest country in the world. God bless you, God bless America and thank you.”
Lloyd Supervisor Fred Pizzuto highlighted an article he recently read.
“On this day 19 years ago 246 people went to sleep in preparation for their morning flights, 2,606 people went to sleep in preparation for their work for the morning shift, 600 police officers went to sleep in preparation for their morning patrol, and EMT workers went to sleep for their morning shift on saving lives. In one single moment, our lives were never the same,” he said. “Tonight as you go to sleep, kiss the one you love and never take one second of your life for granted. God bless their souls and may we never forget.”
Fr. Kumi offered a benediction, asking God to bless those gathered together for the service.
“May He always protect you from harm. May He enlighten you and guide you and may He always be in your lives and be with you forever,” he said.
The American Legion Firing Squad carried out a Gun Salute in memory of those lost on September 11, 2001.
The fire department held the Ringing of the Bell ceremony. Traditionally, the sound of a bell called members to the station, indicated the start of a shift or when a fire was knocked down and service completed.
Chief Miller said the sounding of a certain series of bells also let members know that a fellow firefighter had died in the line of duty. On September 11, 2001, 343 firefighters gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Chief Miller said, “one of the most meaningful” series of bells to recognize final honors is commonly called ‘striking the four fives.’ He said this long standing tradition dates back to 1865 during the early days of the fire department in New York City when the ringing of the bell and the telegraph were used to dispatch fire alarms from central headquarters to outlying fire departments.
“Each different type of alarm announcement would have its own series of bell strikes. When a firefighter died in the line of duty or when some important official or person had died, headquarters would transmit five bell strikes repeated in four series, with a slight pause between each series, followed by the announcement.”
1st Assistant Chief James Anzalone struck a silver bell, with Miller concluding, “The signal of a series of four 5-5s has been transmitted. It is with regret that we announce the deaths of those faithful servants who we gather here today to memorialize.”
The Buglers Across America, Joe Avampato and Peter Maroldt, performed ‘Taps,’ with each phrase played in a call and response manner. The first phrases honored the living and the responses honored the spirits who have gone ahead. Jessica Avampato followed this by singing ‘God Bless America.’
Balint noted that this was the close of the 9-11 memorial ceremony, adding that this year there would be no refreshments due to social distancing.