Springfield holds ceremony to mark 9/11 anniversary

Monday was September 11, which marks 22 years since the terror attacks on the east coast. There were 9/11 remembrance ceremonies all across western Mass.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 1:14 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Monday was September 11, which marks 22 years since the terror attacks on the east coast. There were 9/11 remembrance ceremonies all across western Massachusetts, with one of them occurring at Riverfront Park in Springfield.

September 11 is a day no one in America will ever forget. The ringing of a fire bell in front of dozens at Riverfront Park honored all of the more than 300 first responders and thousands of others who lost their lives in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania 22 years ago.

“It was awful that it ever took place in our country, but I think we need to honor those people who gave their lives, especially the people who crashed that plane in Pennsylvania,” said John Hemingway.

Throughout the morning, local officials and members of the Springfield Police and Fire Departments gathered to recognize those who are no longer with us, especially our heroes. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said to the public that everyone who died on that day in 2001 did not die in vain.

“No one will tread upon us and when you come at us, we will come at you ten-fold, but it’s always important to remember and never forget that these individuals made the ultimate sacrifice,” Sarno noted.

The public proudly heard or sang along to the Star-Spangled Banner, which was followed by a rifle salute next to the Connecticut River. In addition, a wreath was once again laid in front of the 9/11 monument, a symbol that has been in the park since 2019. Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood and Fire Commissioner B.J. Calvi had nothing but praise for the individuals who risked their lives saving others 22 years ago.

“They died doing what they were sworn to do. They upheld their oaths. They went into a dangerous situation,” Clapprood said.

“They knew walking into a big cloud of smoke probably wasn’t the best thing for their lungs. They didn’t second guess that. They went forward,” Calvi said. “The 343 people that died that day all knew when they were walking into that building what they were getting into. I was watching it on television and knew what they were all walking into and knew that people were willing to die that day.”

Hemingway told Western Mass News that he hopes the events on 9/11 teach all Americans that coming together is the best thing for everyone.

“We all have to love each other. We only have one life to live. I’m almost 80 years old and I’m blessed that I made it this far in my life, but we have to be aware of each other and what’s around us and take care of each other,” Hemingway added.

Although they are not physically here anymore, one thing is for certain: the near 3,000 lives who died that very day, as well as the countless others who have died from 9/11-related illnesses, will never be forgotten.