By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — The town will be commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and honoring local heroes during First Responders Day on Saturday, Sept. 11.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on the Town Common. Select Board Chairman Dick Dalton informed the Villager that local resident and Boston Bruins anthem singer Todd Angilly will be performing “The National Anthem” and “God Bless America” at First Responders Day. A cookout will take place after the ceremony.
“We will never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, and that is why we gather on the Town Common on each anniversary,” said Dalton in an interview with the Villager. “Sept. 11 is a solemn day of remembrance. It’s important that we remember the victims and honor the survivors on the 20th anniversary.”
Almost 3,000 Americans were killed in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the United Airlines Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ivanhoe Drive resident and former Boston Bruins left wing Garnet “Ace” Bailey, 53, was killed when United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Bailey was the Los Angeles’ Kings director of pro scouting when he died. The Kings named their mascot Bailey in his honor 10 years ago. Bailey’s family also started the Ace Bailey Children’s Foundation in his memory.
Lynnfield native Sean Patrick Lynch also died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The 34-year-old worked as a senior vice president of equity trading at Cantor Fitzgerald, which was located in the North Tower. He graduated from St. John’s Prep in 1985 and Boston College in 1989.
Dalton said First Responders Day is an opportunity to recognize Lynnfield first responders in addition to remembering to 9/11.
“Our first responders deserve to be praised for all of their hard work over the last 18 months,” said Dalton.
While the Rotary Club previously collected donations from the business community for the Lynnfield Police Association and the Lynnfield Fire Association, Dalton said the fundraiser will not be happening this year.
“We decided not to seek donations from the business community because they have been through so much over the last 18 months,” said Dalton. “Both chiefs were fine with that decision because there is enough money in the budget to meet both departments’ needs.”
Pocahontas Way resident Jason Kimball criticized this year’s First Responders Day in a post on his personal Facebook page. After Kimball proposed that the town start the event five years ago, he helped organize, plan and facilitate the fundraising for the first four ceremonies. He also served as the master of ceremonies for the first four events.
“I worked with the Select Board to make this tribute a town event so it would carry on in the future and the town was kind enough to pay for the barbecue so all funds raised go directly to the two departments,” Kimball wrote.
Kimball stated that a Select Board member recently told him he would not be serving as the master of ceremonies for this year’s event. He claimed that he was told that he was not going to participate in this year’s ceremony because of his involvement with Lynnfield United. The right wing advocacy group was formed this past June and opposes an ongoing equity audit of the school system.
“All I did was ask the Lynnfield School Committee questions during public participation at a meeting last June as I am a concerned parent,” Kimball wrote.
Lynnfield United also opposed a municipal mask mandate that the Board of Health, School Committee and Select Board approved during a chaotic and contentious meeting last month.
Dalton provided the Villager with the following statement about the accusation.
“This event isn’t about personalities,” said Dalton. “This ceremony is about the solemn anniversary that is before us and honoring our first responders. That is where my sole focus lies.”
Dalton urged townspeople to attend the ceremony.
“I hope everyone finds time in their schedule and turns out for First Responders Day,” said Dalton.