The Clermont Police and Fire Departments hosted a moving 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Clermont Arts and Recreation Center. The solemn ceremony was a stirring and memorable tribute to a historical tragedy.

An emotional documentary in remembrance of the lives lost on 9/11 was presented, after which Nancy Rosario, a retired NYPD Sergeant shared her stories on the historic tragedy. Police Chief Broadway, an on-site first responder at the Twin Towers, spoke of those who have since passed from exposure to the dangerous toxins at ground zero over the following days and months following the horrific event.

 

Reflections of 9/11/2001 by Clermont Mayor Gail Ash

Clermont City Mayor Gail Ash

I was living in Clermont, at the time, so I watched all that was happening that day on the television.

Having grown up in New York and attended college in Manhattan, I couldn’t believe what I saw when the first tower was hit. As the minutes went by, and the second and third planes hit, absolute dismay took over.  And then came the news about the fourth plane being brought down before it reached its destination, by the passengers on board.

Along with everyone else in our country, I couldn’t turn away from the television. I wondered, “How could this be happening? Why was this happening? Who would do this to our country?”

My nephew is an EMT and was part of an ambulance corps in Queens. I was able to get in touch with him that day and relieved to know he was OK. However, he said one of the responders in his unit was seen pushing a man in a wheelchair away from the Towers. Sadly, he was never seen again. His ambulance was completely destroyed when the towers fell.

Knowing my own amazement and disbelief,  I couldn’t imagine what it was like to be in the midst of all that chaos and destruction. When the towers fell, I knew that hundreds, if not thousands of people had been lost.  What a tragedy!