‘To this day it’s hard for me’: 9/11 observances around Greater Waterbury

9/11 Never Forget

September 11 Timeline

DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — This is a tough time of the year for Derby resident Michael Rabovsky. He lost three close friends at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

“They all were working on the upper levels of the towers. As soon as the first plane crashed into the tower, I knew there was no way they were going to get out,” he said. “To this day it’s hard for me to even say out loud their names.”

Rabovsky says 9/11 observances offer some sense of comfort because it shows his friends are not forgotten.

“I’m ecstatic to hear that people are still remembering and doing these tributes to the people we lost and the first responders we lost,” Rabovsky said.

His town is holding an observance on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on America. It will feature first responders lining up and church bells ringing at the 9/11 Memorial on the Derby Green. It features a beam from one of the Twin Towers where first responders rushed to try and save lives that day.

Hector Cardona was one of those first responders. He was a member of the Meriden Police Department who responded to Ground Zero.

“We were right at the tower where all of the destruction was,” Cardona said. “Oh, I was feeling sad for the people who lost their lives, sad for the people who were struggling.”

His city is holding a ceremony outside Meriden City Hall. Ansonia is doing the same — both are beginning at 8:30 a.m. Waterbury is also holding a citywide service at 8:30 a.m. at The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception downtown across from the Waterbury Green.

Pastor Jim Sullivan hopes it will provide people like Michael the sense of comfort they still seek after all these years.

“This will be a time of remembrance but also deep prayer for those who are suffering still in any way,” said Father Sullivan. “Love wins over hate.”

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