Connecticut Governor, Honorable Dannel Malloy, will be the keynote speaker next week at Middletown's annual remembrance ceremony honoring the victims of 9-11. This year, the ceremony will be held at the South District Fire Headquarters on Randolph Rd. and will coincide with dedication of the City's permanent 9/11 Memorial and Memorial Garden. The memorial, a joint project of the South Fire District and the firefighters union, has been constructed on the grassy area at the front of the firehouse on the corner of Randolph Rd and Lee St.
Captain Michael Howley who heads up the Memorial Committee says the ceremony, which is open to the public, will begin at 8:30 am. Public parking for the September 11th ceremony will be in the same field used for parking during the annual Open House in October. The field is located directly across Lee Street from the firehouse. Handicapped parking will be in a designated area on the west side of the South District Headquarters.
In addition to the Governor, several other state officials, including Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, are expected to attend along with Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, other city officials, Middletown Police Officers and Middletown Firefighters.
Captain Howley said, "the ceremony will be interrupted for moments of silence at 8:46 am and 9:02 am, the exact times when the two planes flew into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center". As is the tradition for 9/11 ceremonies conducted by fire departments, the event will conclude with a special tribute to the 343 New York City firefighters who died that day. A bell will toll a signal 5-5-5-5, which in the protocol of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) precedes reading of the names of those firefighter who have answered their "Last Alarm".
Also scheduled to speak at the remembrance ceremony is Mary Canty of Middlefield whose brother Michael Canty, was among the civilians who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The Wadsworth Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be on hand to present the South District Fire Department with a "We Remember 9/11" Flag. The fire department plans to display the flag throughout the year inside the fire station and to fly it from the flag pole adjacent to the Memorial Garden, each September 11th.
The Memorial Garden has as its focal point a section of a steel beam from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The beam stands vertically atop a concrete pedestal at the center of the garden. South Fire District has been designated as a curator for the 9/11 artifact which remains the property of the Port Authority of New York, the agency that owned the World Trade Center.
The final elements of the Memorial Garden, the engraved brick pavers that make up the walkway to the Memorial and the plaza are in place, according to Captain Howley. Recently, four Memorial Benches were installed and landscaping of the Memorial Garden has been completed. Also installed in recent days was the lighting that now illuminates the Memorial and the Garden at night.
South District Firefighters, members of IAFF Local 3918 will continue to sell Memorial Brick Pavers for the Garden well into the future. Captain Howley stated, "the paved area has been designed with many blank pavers that can be removed and replaced with engraved bricks as additional residents and businesses desire to add their names to the memorial". Information about purchasing Memorial pavers is available at the Randolph Rd firehouse and on line at the fire district website, www.southfiredistrict.com.
For Information Contact:
Chief Robert Ross or Captain Michael Howley