Sep 11, 2013
04:47 AMConnecticut Today
Malloy Urges State to 'Never Forget' at 9/11 Ceremony in Westport
Bonnie Adler/Minuteman News Center
Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman greet family members of 9/11 victims.
Twelve years after the World Trade Center bombings and the unfathomable deaths of almost 3,000 innocent people, families of Connecticut’s victims gathered at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport where the granite 9/11 Living Memorial has been established in their memory.
The memorial service has been held each year since the disaster, and over the time period many of the families and the state officials who run the Office of Family Support have gotten to know one another, keeping alive the memory of those who perished, and finding ways to help each other find solace in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy addressed the crowd, remembering his own reaction to the tragedy, which occurred when he was the mayor of Stamford. He received calls from officials in Washington, D.C. and New York City, asking him to beef up security at the Stamford train station and to begin preparations for eventualities that thankfully never arose.
“I, like everyone else in this nation, was impacted that day, but not nearly to the extent that those of you who lost a family member were,” he told the mourning crowd of more than 150 people. “I hope you never forget the magnitude of the love you held for them and they held for you. This memorial is our simple way of trying to make your loss more tolerable and that we never forget as a society that people are after us, our way of life is constantly under attack.”
Malloy also gave tribute to the 67 Connecticut men and women who have died in the armed services since the 9/11 attack. “We must stand in the face of those who would attack us and attack our principles,” he said.
Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman said, “It is humbling to share the stage with you.” She pointed to a button on her lapel saying, “This was given to me by a police commissioner after 911. I will take it off when all of our soldiers are safe.”
She quoted Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the mother of two sons slain by assassins and a woman who understood devastating loss.
“They say that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue. But it is never gone.”
The most poignant moments in the 45-minute ceremony came during a haunting rendition of “God Bless America” as sung by the U.S. Coast Guard Cadet Glee Club and the slow, emotion-filled reading of the names of the victims.
The crowd which attended the memorial was filled with mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, siblings and friends, and perhaps most achingly, the children of those who perished, who were just toddlers when the disaster occurred.