Preparing To Remember 9/11

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Next month marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, and some towns in Vermont are already making preparations to commemorate 9/11.

In Manchester, town officials agreed this week on a location for a memorial. The engraved marble and bronze plaque and American flag will be dedicated to both 9/11 and local first responders.

It’s the creation of Laura Warro, a Queens, N.Y., native who lives in Danby and now works as a dental office manager in Manchester. Warro remembers where she was the morning two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers.

"I was at work in the dentist office, and one of our patients walked in and he told us what was going on in Manhattan," Warro said. "And a couple minutes later it was the Pentagon and so on. It affected all of us. We were all of course glued to the TV that night – the devastation."

Now, when Warro thinks of the devastation and helpless feeling she had that day she can’t look at the Manhattan skyline without her stomach sinking.

"When we went in for a Broadway show – even a year after it happened – I couldn’t even get out down at the World Trade Center and look at it," she said.

In Manchester, more than 200 miles away from Ground Zero, Warro doesn’t want to forget it. Last month, she asked Manchester’s select board for permission to install her idea for a monument on the town green.

"It’s not just a 9/11 memorial," she explained. "It’s also a thank you to our local fire and rescue responders who donate their time and lives to us each and every day."

John O’Keefe, the Manchester town manager, says all board members approved Warro’s plan. It was just a matter of finding the right location. He says the most important thing now is teaching children who might not remember the attacks why they’re so significant.

"September 11th to my kids will become what Pearl Harbor was to me. It’s a day that you mark but you don’t quite understand," O’Keefe said. "You gotta remind yourself of the past. I think it’s more important to be quite honest for future generations. For those that didn’t live through the event."

On the tenth anniversary of September 11th, Manchester firefighters will raise the American flag at the new monument. A chaplain will say a prayer. And local first responders will unveil a plaque that says, ‘May We Never Forget.’

Also on September 11th Bennington will dedicate a memorial in a downtown ceremony. It will include a steel beam from the World Trade Center set in marble and a memorial bench to those killed in the terrorist attacks.

Bennington attorney Donald Goodrich, whose son was killed on one of the hijacked planes that crashed into the Twin Towers, will speak.

Does your town have plans to commemorate the anniversary? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

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