Connecticut memorials honor 9/11 victims, first responders and f - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Connecticut memorials honor 9/11 victims, first responders and families

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
A beam from the second World Trade Center tower is the focal point of the memorial in Middletown. (WFSB file photo) A beam from the second World Trade Center tower is the focal point of the memorial in Middletown. (WFSB file photo)

Friday marks 14 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

During the morning hours, family members read the names of the nearly 3,000 victims near the site of the old World Trade Center towers

In Shanksville, PA, the names of the 40 passengers and crew members on board United Airlines flight 93 were read. Bells of remembrance were also rung at the same time the plane crashed.

9/11 Memorial held in Middletown 

In Connecticut, a number of memorials were also planned, including one at the South Fire District in Middletown.

That’s where a piece of steel, once part of the second World Trade Center tower, was brought two years ago.

The service began around 8:30 a.m. The sadness was palpable as firefighters, police officers and residents came together.

"Hopefully, the families of the people can bear this tremendous loss," said John Turro of Middletown. "It was quite a tragedy. It kind of turned everything around for us."

"I think like everyone we kind of go back to that day," Chief Robert Ross, South Fire District, Middletown. "Where were we at? What were we doing at that moment when we first learned of what was happening?"

The beam is surrounded by a memorial garden and benches. Those who visit said it’s become a place of reflection for loved ones and the Middletown community as a whole.

The service was held inside the fire station, just feet away from the beam. Many said it serves as a symbol of courage.

"I think it inspires us to do what we do and keep doing it for the greater good of the public we serve," Ross said.

"It's sad but [we're] at peace that knowing that the people that lost their lives are being remembered and that there's a piece of that in Middletown," said Sheila Peterson of Portland.

Gov.: CT flags will be flown at half-staff in remembrance of 9/11 

Thursday, state leaders joined first responders and families for a day of remembrance in Westport.

The ceremony was held in the same place people gathered on Sept. 11, 2001 to see the horrific events unfold from across Long Island Sound.

"Just as we won't forget the images of that day, we won't forget the victims and you, their families either,” said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. “Together we will make certain that each one of the names etched on that wonderful, beautiful memorial are reflective of a legacy and a life lived."

Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered Connecticut flags to be flown at half-staff for the day. He said there are 161 victims with ties to Connecticut who were killed in the attacks.

Saint Francis employees do good deed in honor of 9/11 victims

Events were held in cities and towns all across our state to remember the 9/11 including at the Bridgeport Fire Department, on Durham town green, at Chelsea Parade in Norwich, during high school varsity football game in Wolcott and  in Hartford.

Saint Francis Hospital employees commemorated the day by doing a good deed for the community.

They collected thousands of children's books to donate to Read to Grow, which is an early literacy organization that gives books to all newborns at Saint Francis and other hospitals in the state.

"I'm really happy that we're able to put the spotlight on read to grow.  It’s such a good example of St. Francis and the way we see our mission,” Tobye Karl, who is the director of volunteer services at Saint Francis.

Since that fateful day, the Saint Francis community has performed a different good deed every year.

Tribute remembering 9/11 held in West Haven

In West Haven, a line of American flags flew in the breeze as the calm waters of Long Island Sound were seen in the background. Along the Savin Rock Board Walk, a photo display recalls that dark day 14 years ago. 

"I'm a flight attendant, so it brings a special time,” Jim Alvarado, of West Haven, said. “I was living down the block, just came home from a flight the day before."

Alvarado said he'll never forget 9/11.  He can't and neither will the city of West Haven, which held its annual ceremony on Friday night.

"It’s a special day honestly,” Alfred Toscano, of West Haven, said.

One of those lost during the tragedy included 50-year-old Richard Gabrielle. He left behind a wife and daughter.

An insurance broker, Gabrielle, worked in the South Tower and was last seen on the 78th floor waiting to be rescued.  

"We can't forget because you don't want this to happen again,” Toscano said.

"It’s a special day like D-Day, Pearl Harbor, something that's engraved in our country's history,” Alvarado said.

For mobile users, Eyewitness News' own Dennis House covered 9/11. To read that whole story, click here

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