Watching a video depicting the 9/11 terror attacks during Warrensburg's annual Sept. 11 Memorial ceremony held Tuesday evening are (left to right): Kyle Bennett, Ashley DeMarsh, Dan DeMarsh, Jackie Nelson and Daalten DeMarsh. Nearly a dozen fire companies and more than 300 people participated in the ceremony that honors the citizens who died in the attacks and the emergency responders who saved many thousands of lives while risking or losing their own.
Volunteer Warrensburg firefighters in formal uniforms marched under stormy evening skies and laid a wreath in front of the Floyd Bennett Memorial Bandstand in honor of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Lightning momentarily lit up the sky and a gust of wind blew out many of the candles that the crowd of 300+ were holding. The streetlights suddenly went dark.
Allison Lanfear of the Warrensburg High School Band played a mournful rendition of taps on her trumpet, underscoring this highlight of the solemn ceremony.
Dozens of firefighters from 11 fire companies in northern Warren County were joined by nearly 300 area citizens in the annual Sept. 11 Memorial Services hosted by the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co.
Former Warrensburg Fire Chief Jim Hull talked about the character of emergency responders and others who put their own lives at risk to aid others in distress.
He noted that the New York City firefighters who were vaporized in the towers’ destruction had no hesitation to enter the doomed buildings, and their actions saved tens of thousands of lives.
“They were firefighters until the very last second of their lives,” he said, noting that their commitment to others was apparently in their DNA.
Firefighters in the lower Adirondacks have that character, Hull said, noting they have often left family holiday gatherings, even funerals, to help others, putting their own safety at risk.
Warrensburg firefighter Jessica Monroe rang a fire bell 20 times in four series of five rings that represents a tribute to departed firefighters.
In a keynote speech, state Assemblyman Dan Stec said that the Sept. 11 terror attacks, although horrific, had prompted a long-lasting collaborative, caring spirit among citizens.
“From that great evil and trial we all went through as a nation, our country’s citizens stepped up and moved forward together, appreciating each other, helping each other as neighbors, volunteering in so many ways to make our communities better,” he said. “And how blessed we are in the North Country to have the neighbors and first responders we have here.”
The volunteer fire companies of Chestertown, Lake George, Bolton Landing, Stony Creek, Thurman, Horicon, Pottersville, Garnet Lake, Johnsburg, and North River participated in the ceremony. Area ambulance squads, including Warrensburg Emergency Medical Services, were also represented. The 90 or so firefighters stood either in formal uniforms, or in soot-stained turnout gear that bore witness to their service.
Those attending seemed transfixed as they watched a video, depicting scenes from the horror-filled day 12 years earlier, showing stunned and panicked New Yorkers covered in soot, as well as firefighters ushering people to safety. It was followed up with a patriotic video of soldiers on duty, emphasizing the resolve of the U.S. to defend itself from tyrants.
The Horicon Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary provided refreshments that were served after the ceremony.
Nancy Barrow of the Warrensburg Free Methodist Church offered the invocation and benediction. The Warrensburg High School Band played several patriotic selections.
Event emcee Kevin Geraghty, President of the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co., closed the ceremony praising those attending for remembering, year after year, the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives in the terror attacks.
“You always remember,” he said as the rainstorm bore down on Warrensburg, noting the fire company was committed to honoring, in the years to come, those who made the ultimate sacrifice.