WILTON, Conn. -- Wilton gathered Friday in front of the town's fire department to remember the five town residents and others who lost their lives in the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
"It's mornings like these that we together remember the stark reality of that day," Wilton Fire Department Lt. Jim Blanchfield said at the ceremony. "We choose to assemble here to honor and remember those that didn't come home that night. They are not just memories, they are our friends and neighbors. They are moms and dads. They are sons and daughters. They are our brothers and sisters."
Wilton residents Edward Fergus, Peter C. Fry, John Henwood, John F. Iskyan and Edward P. York died in the attacks.
About 100 people gathered in front of Wilton Fire Department headquarters for the Friday event, held on the 14th anniversary of the attacks.
First Selectman Bill Brennan said the country was deeply affected and remains so to this day.
"Today is the 14th time we have paused to remember and reflect on that cowardly act that shook our nation to the very core," Brennan said. "Because of the horrible memories these services are always difficult for every American but especially difficult for the families of over 3,000 innocent souls who lost their lives on that awful day."
He said the attack didn't break the country and, instead, united it.
"This attack did not bend or defeat us. Indeed our nation was awakened and strengthened and has pursued the criminals that were responsible for this cowardly act," he said as he warned that the country must remain vigilant and strong against new threats.
Wilton resident Sandy Mumbach had a unique viewpoint on the day. Her husband, Peter, was working on the 55th floor of 30 Rockefeller Center and their two sons, Matthew, a firefighter with the Fire Department of New York, and Jason, a volunteer firefighter in Trumbull, both responded to the devastation on Sept. 11, 2001.
Schoolchildren will learn of the events second hand by studying it, she said. It is up to those who witnessed it and lived through it to keep the story alive.
"I think it is important for those of us who did live it to remember out loud, to share the experience of that terrible day," Mumbach said.
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