Members of the Walden community gathered Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Following the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Deputy Mayor Willie Carley’s opening prayer, Mayor John Ramos shared some opening remarks.
“We are here to pay tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice: grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends,” he said. “We are also here to pay tribute and give thanks to those who served from our community.”
Ramos recognized numerous Walden firefighters, police officers, emergency service workers as well as the department of public works for their efforts in response to 9/11. Among them was Bob Lynn, a Walden firefighter who spent time at Ground Zero shortly after the attacks.
Afterwards, Ramos read a poem called “Meet Me In The Stairwell” by Stacey Randall. The poem tells the story of those who were lost in the 9/11 attacks from God’s perspective. In the poem, God states that he was with all those who lost their lives during the attacks in addition to people who watched the event unfold on television.
“You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on Sept. 11, 2001? Neither will I,” God states in the poem. “I was on the 110th floor in a smoke-filled room with a man who called his wife to say ‘Goodbye.’ I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, ‘Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is okay... I am ready to go.’ I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn’t coming home that night.”
The bugle call “Taps” was played before Ramos and Walden resident Brenda Adams placed the wreath of remembrance on the Walden Department monument next to village hall. Arthur Fitzgerald, a member of the Valley Central Board of Education, played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.
Jodi Lynn underscored the importance of honoring both those who risked their lives and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as a result of Sept. 11.
“May we never forget,” she said.