Published by the History Department of Germantown, NY
Town Dedicates It's 9/11 Memorial On Tenth Anniversary of Tragedy
Germantown supervisor Roy Brown, members of the town board, firefighters and families from the community defied sullen skies and a drenching rain for a special 10th anniversary tribute to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy-- and for a preview of the town's permanent memorial to them.
The memorial, one of many such tributes across the U.S., will be two sections of ironwork of the fallen World Trade Center, where volunteers from the town joined scores of other workers after the disaster.
Tons of torn steel beams were quickly claimed by American communities and have been raised anew far from the World Trade Center site.
A bipartisan effort by Germantown officials and friends made it possible to acquire the 9/11 relics, which will form the final memorial at a site near the lake on the Palatine Park town campus.
The anniversary ceremonies included a welcome from Supervisor Brown to the hardy onlookers and a tribute delivered by Town justice and firefighter Wendy Nack-Lawlor, who hails the American spirit as exemplified in the responses of professionals and volunteers to 9/11 and to the devastation of Hurricane Irene. In reflecting on the day, she says:
"Remembering 9/11/01 ten years later, having the frame of reference of the sights and sounds of that day, it is nevertheless difficult to comprehend that the two pieces of twisted steel being dedicated in Germantown today were, merely 10 years and one day before, supporting the very structures into which hundreds of firefighters and emergency responders would rush, many losing their lives in the process of trying to save so many others. Their acts, on that day and responding to that call, probably did not register with them as anything extraordinary at the time; they were merely responding to a call to duty to protect lives and property.
And while a nation and the world remembers, on the anniversary of 9/11 or any other day, firefighters and emergency responders continue to answer that call to duty. Local volunteers answered that call to New York in the wake of 9/11. And while we gathered and remembered in Germantown on 9/11/11, other members and friends of the Germantown fire department responded to neighbors in need in Schoharie County in the wake of Irene.
Not unlike those brave 343 who lost their lives on 9/11/01, these local volunteers responded selflessly and without expectation of any special recognition or reward. They responded because someone needed their help.
So perhaps the most enduring remembrance of 9/11 should be a reflection of pride, pride in the indefatigable spirit of those who responded so bravely, readily exemplifying the American spirit.
That is the face that we should present to the world when we remember. It is a living remembrance that we can make every day responding selflessly to someone in need, and it is my hope that those twisted pieces of steel will therefore be not only erected in remembrances, but also as a symbol of pride, community and duty.”