(WTNH) — Sept. 11, 2001. America under attack. A coordinated aerial assault orchestrated by terrorists killed nearly 3,000 innocent victims. The targets: New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a hijacked plane that eventually crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The stunning aftermath was heartbreaking. A stifling, toxic cloud hung over the collapsed twin towers of the World Trade Center for days. Brave first responders searched vigilantly for any sign of life. Now, 20 years later, Connecticut is once again joining the nation to remember the victims of that dark day.
Sherwood Island State Park in Westport is home to a memorial for the Connecticut residents whose lives were lost during the Sept. 11 attacks. The site was the staging area for emergency workers following the attack within view of the World Trade Center. It is accessible for anyone to visit year-round.
Every year, on the Thursday before Sept. 11, Connecticut holds its 9/11 ceremony at the memorial. This year’s ceremony will be held on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 5:30 p.m.
The names of more than 160 people from Connecticut killed that day will once again be read aloud, including Richard Keane and two other men from Wethersfield. The Richard M. Keane Foundation was formed and a sports center in Wethersfield was built to provide a safe haven for youth.
“The purpose of the Foundation in collaboration with the Town of Wethersfield, is to provide a fun environment in which youth can come together to participate in athletic, academic, and social programs with the support and guidance of caring adults.”Keane Foundation
Motorcycle riders will gather at Sherwood Island State Park Saturday, Sept. 11, at 10:30 a.m. for the CT Unite Ride. It’s billed as the largest single ride in New England, and Connecticut’s largest fundraiser for firefighters and law enforcement.
An exhibit has also been set up — “Twenty Years Later: Remembering 9/11 and Its Impact on the Wethersfield Community” — that is open until Sept. 30 at the Wethersfield Museum/Keeney Memorial, located at 200 Main St. in Wethersfield.
In addition to the Wethersfield exhibit, the annual Keane Foundation 9/11 Family Picnic of Remembrance 2021 will take place on Sunday, Sept. 12, at Broad Street Park, Wethersfield. The picnic is held each year to remember the Wethersfield residents who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Richard M. Keane Foundation also accepts donations. Keane’s widow, Judy Keane, who is also president of the foundation, says, “Donations are still greatly appreciated so that we can continue our after-school enrichment programs for many years to come.”
The Enfield Volunteer Fire Department on Weymouth Road has two pieces of beams from the debris of the World Trade Center that sit next to a memorial exhibit that was created in the years following the attacks.
The Torrington Fire Department and Firefighters Local 1567 will be holding their annual 9/11 ceremony in recognition of the lives lost that day on September 11 at 8:30 a.m. at the North End Fire Station, 899 Main Street, Torrington
The New Canaan-based Voices Center for Resilience (VOICES), formerly Voices of September 11th, was also formed after the attacks. Numerous events are scheduled this year and can be found on their website: voicescenter.org/20th-anniversary.
The Voices Center also offers help and support for communities recovering from a tragic event. According to the center’s website, “When attacks of mass violence occur, there is an impact on the larger community. In fact, many times there is a global impact – when families, friends and even the public from around the country and the world become part of a grieving community.”
The City of Meriden will hold its 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. in front of city hall, 142 East Main Street, Meriden.
The Torrington Fire Department and the Torrington Firefighters Local 1567 will be having their annual 9/11 ceremony at 8:30 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the North End Fire Station on 899 Main Street.
The City of Hartford will host a 9/11 commemoration at 8:40 a.m., just before when the first tower was struck, at 253 High Street.
The 2021 CT United Ride will kick off from Sherwood Island State Park at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 11. A press release from the Uniformed Professional Fighters Association of Connecticut calls it the largest 9/11 tribute and the largest single ride in New England, and the largest fundraiser for both Fire and Law Enforcement in the State of CT. “For those that lost their lives, for those that gave their lives, and for those that continue to put their lives on the line each day – that’s why we ride” according to Fred Garrity Jr Exec Director.
The Middlesex Hospital Vocal Chords will hold a 9/11 Tribute 20th Anniversary Patriotic Tribute at the Bushnell in Hartford on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. The afternoon will commence with Firefighters and State Police Honor Guards leading firefighters/EMS, police departments, armed forces, and veterans into the Mortensen Hall for a tribute.
Goodwin University in East Hartford will be hosting a 9-11 Day of Remembrance on September 11. It will be at the Connecticut fallen Star Memorial on campus at 10 a.m. It will include presentations by Veterans and the reading of the names of the state’s fallen heroes.
In Plainfield the VFW will be holding its annual candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. on September 11. There will be an unveiling and dedication of a new memorial stone being added to the Vets Park next to town hall.
The Town of Brookfield will be having a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 at the town hall, 100 Pocono Rd featuring survivors, veterans from Aghanistan and clergy who were at ground zero.