WILTON, Conn. -- Wilton paid respects to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks Thursday in a ceremony at the Wilton Fire Department.
Five Wilton residents were killed in the attacks 13 years ago: Edward Fergus, Peter C. Fry, John Henwood, John F. Iskyan and Edward P. York. They and the other victims were memorialized in speeches, salutes, prayers and musical performances Thursday morning.
"Thirteen years ago this department and this town made a promise," said Firefighter James Blanchfield, who led the ceremony. "We promised never to forget. Our collective resolve in that regard will never pass. Those who lost their lives 13 years ago, they were just like you and me. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters, families and friends."
"We moved on and learned to be a stronger nation," said Fire Chief Ron Kanterman. "You see, you can knock America down, but you can never count us out. We get up, we punch back a little harder. It's what we do and it's who we are."
First Selectman William Brennan said that the Sept. 11 ceremony was probably the most important annual ceremony the town performs.
"I believe it has strengthened us as a nation," Brennan said of the attacks and the aftermath. "Radical enemies continue to threaten the safety of our citizens, as we continue to witness depraved terrorist activity around the world. Therefore we must remain vigilant and strong, and also remember our brave men and women in uniform, who protect us and defend our freedom and American values."
"They were strangers whose common thread was being decent human beings trying to help each other in the face of terror," said Police Chief Michael Lombardo. "Today is a day to reflect on those who were lost to despicable acts that were carried out against our nation 13 years ago and which jeopardizes our freedom. However, it is our freedom that makes us so strong."
Jason Mumbach, a member of the Nichols Fire Department and former member of the Wilton Fire Department and Wilton Ambulance Corps, responded to the Sept. 11 attacks. He talked about the difficulties that many first responders experience when they witness traumatic events like the attacks, and the importance of providing support for them.
"Post traumatic stress disorder is real, and there needs to be more done for those serving in the military, as well as those back home serving in ambulances, fire engines and police cruisers," Mumbach said.
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