WESTFIELD- The 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks is Wednesday, and officials in Westfield and Southwick are hosting several ceremonies in remembrance of the event.
In Westfield, three former city residents who lost their lives on 9/11 will be remembered. Daniel Trant, Brian Murphy and Tara Shea Creamer were all victims of the unprecedented attack.
Westfield city, police, and fire officials, will host two ceremonies on Wednesday. The first one begins at 9:45 a.m. at the fire department headquarters on Broad Street where the annual ceremony of reflection and remembrance for the fallen first responders who lost their lives on that day in 2001 will take place.
On that fateful day, 343 firefighters, 68 police officers, eight medical personnel, and one fire patrolman were killed following the hijacking of four planes by 19 hijackers who flew them into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
Also on Wednesday Mayor Brian P. Sullivan will be joined by the families of the Westfield residents who lost their lives during the attacks. They will lay a wreath at the 9/11 monument on North Elm Street across from the Westwood building at 11 a.m..
“Westfield annually comes together as a Community to remember all those, especially our local families, that were affected by the tragedy of September 11. We have all made a commitment to keep close in our hearts and in our prayers the senseless loss of our friends and neighbors,” said Sullivan, “I would like to ask once again this year for the City to remember, either at one of the scheduled services, or at your own leisure, the families of Trant, Murphy and Shea-Creamer during this time when it is needed the most.”
In Southwick, town, police, and fire officials will participate in a service at the fire department headquarters on Depot Street at 9:50 a.m., the time that the attacks on the twin towers in New York began.
Deputy Fire Chief Richard Stefanowicz said that Fire Chief Russell Anderson and Police Chief Kevin A. Bishop will deliver remarks, and any local leaders or political figures are welcome to attend to give their own remarks. Also attending will be Pastor Dan Valerie of the Living Hope Church.
At the Southwick Fire Department ceremony, they will toll five bells, as part of a tradition of ringing five bells to signal that firefighters are leaving or returning to the station. The flag will then be lowered for a moment of silence, after which it will be raised again.
Alongside the Southwick 9/11 memorial will be a remembrance for fallen Southwick Firefighter Joe Segal, who was an active member of the fire department who passed away following a training.
Stefanowicz said that Segal will be recognized with a ceremonial brick purchased by the Fireman’s Association. The brick will become part of a permanent display in Boston. A dedication ceremony will take place Wednesday afternoon. Members of the fire department will travel to Boston to attend the ceremony following the 9/11 remembrance.
In addition to Westfield and Southwick’s official memorial services, Westfield’s Sons of Erin Irish Club will host its own memorial at 6 p.m. at the Sons of Erin building at 22 Williams St. in Westfield. The ceremony will take place in front of the Club’s memorial to the Westfield residents who died in the attacks.
Sullivan has been invited to speak at this event, and music will be played inside at 7 p.m. by the Blarney Brothers.