THE FIRST RESPONDERS DAY ceremony on Sept. 11 included, from left, Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Glenn Davis, Police Chief Nick Secatore, Select Board Chairman Phil Crawford, Centre Congregational Church Rev. Lori Wyckoff, Select Board member Dick Dalton, Select Board member Joe Connell and Town Administrator Rob Dolan. (Dan Tomasello Photo)



LYNNFIELD — One-hundred-and-fifty residents came together last Sunday to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and recognize the community’s first responders.

Town Administrator Rob Dolan served as the master of ceremonies of First Responders Day. He thanked residents, local officials and first responders for attending the ceremony.

“Today we recognize our first responders, who do incredible work,” said Dolan. “We are here to not only thank our first responders, but we are also here to remember how the events of Sept. 11, 2001 changed our country forever 21 years ago.”

Centre Congregational Church Rev. Lori Wyckoff, formerly known as Nancy Rottman, gave the innovation during First Responders Day.

“This morning, we gather as a community to honor our first responders,” said Wyckoff.

After Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts led attendees with reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance,” Lynnfield resident and Boston Bruins anthem singer Todd Angilly sang a moving rendition of “The National Anthem.”

“Many know Todd as the voice of the Boston Bruins, but we know him as a neighbor and friend,” said Dolan about Angilly.

Dolan recalled that Lynnfield lost two members of the community on 9/11. Retired Boston Bruins left wing Garnet “Ace” Bailey was aboard United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Bailey was 53-years-old when he died, and left behind his wife Kathy and son Todd.

Lynnfield native Sean Patrick Lynch also passed away in the World Trade Center at the age of 34. Lynch had just been promoted to senior vice president of equity trading at Cantor Fitzgerald, and passed away along with 657 of his colleagues.

“We lost two incredible citizens on 9/11,” said Dolan.

A moment of silence was held in honor of Bailey and Lynch.

Dolan recalled that former “Superman” actor Dean Cain famously said, “Real heroes don’t wear capes.”

“Real superheroes wear uniforms, badges and stethoscopes,” said Dolan. “Real superheroes are members of our military, law enforcement and first responders. Pretend superheroes wear capes. We have heroes among us in Lynnfield who save lives every day.”

Police Chief Nick Secatore thanked Assistant Town Administrator Bob Curtin and Veterans Services Officer Bruce Siegel for organizing the First Responders Day ceremony.

“We are here to honor those who lost their lives on this day and to ensure that we Never Forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001,” said Secatore. “Sept. 11, 2001 changed our country and the world forever. The impact continues to this day. Most of us can say we have been impacted directly or know someone that has been impacted by the event. It shows how pervasive it has been to this country. It is important to share this with future generations who did not live through it as some of us did.”

Secatore said he and Lynnfield Police officers are appreciative that town officials decided several years ago to hold a ceremony that both commemorates the 9/11 attacks and recognizes Lynnfield first responders.

“We are here to reflect and come together in appreciation of all of those folks who gave their lives as well as all of the folks who serve the town of Lynnfield,” said Secatore. “The people who are first responders are often only thought of as folks who respond to a scene. But there are civilian employees who work for the Police and Fire Departments who make everything work for all of us behind the scenes. The police officers, dispatchers and administrative staff in the department work 24 hours a day to provide service to the town. These members do extraordinary things in the performance of their duties for the town.”

After Secatore concluded his remarks, he was given a round of applause.

Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Glenn Davis said, “The United States of America suffered a severe blow when attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.”

“Twenty-one years after our nation was attacked, the events of Sept. 11, 2001 may be fading in the minds of many Americans,” said Davis. “But for those of us who spend our lives in the service of others — be it in the fire service, law enforcement, emergency medical services or the military — the memories of the terrorist attacks that took so many lives remains fresh.”

Davis said it’s important to honor and recognize the 2,977 people who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks as well as the more than 6,000 people who were injured. He said that will help young people learn about that tragic day.

“First, we honor the nearly 3,000 innocent victims who perished that day,” said Davis. “Second, we remember the courage and bravery of the first responders who rushed to help their fellow citizens and perished. We remember the 343 New York City firefighters and paramedics, the 23 New York Police officers and the 37 Port Authority Police officers.”

Davis noted that firefighters will get a “distinct feeling” when they arrive at an incident and realize, “This one is going to be bad, and you might not make it home.”

“I have no doubt that the men and women who responded to the World Trade Center that day had that same feeling as they got off their fire apparatus and out of their police cars,” said Davis. “They had that feeling and, without hesitation, they went forward anyway. This is the ultimate meaning of bravery, duty, sacrifice and selflessness. This is the true meaning of service.”

Davis said service is a valuable lesson learned from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that still resonates 21 years later.

“As firefighters, we serve every time we put on our uniform,” said Davis. “What better way to honor the memory of the fallen than commit to service. The men and women of the Lynnfield Fire Department will continue to serve; to be there whenever Lynnfield residents call us and to Never Forget the ultimate sacrifices that were made on Sept. 11, 2001.”

After Davis concluded his remarks, he was given a round of applause.

In addition to recognizing first responders, Select Board Chairman Phil Crawford said the ceremony seeks to make sure people “Never Forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.”

“On that day, the world watched as two hijacked jetliners slammed into New York City’s World Trade Center while a third one crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia,” said Crawford. “Passengers onboard a fourth airplane averted even more destruction by trying to regain control of their airplane, which was intended to hit either the White House or U.S. Capitol. As a result, the hijackers crashed it in a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on the United States’ soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor.”

Crawford said the first responders who responded on 9/11 represented a beacon of hope in a dark chapter of American history.

“While civilians were running for safety from the World Trade Center in New York City, hundreds of first responders were running towards the devastation to save those hurt and trapped in the buildings,” said Crawford. “Four-hundred-and-fourteen first responders died that day, 343 were firefighters and 71 were law enforcement officers.  In addition, countless others suffered fatal or life-altering injuries and illnesses related to their service on that day and the days that followed. For those too young to recall that clear September day, it is hard to describe the mix of feelings we experienced. There was horror at the scale of destruction, and awe at the bravery and kindness that rose to meet it. There was shock at the audacity of evil, and gratitude for the heroism and decency that opposed it. In the sacrifice of the first responders, in the mutual aid of strangers, in the solidarity of grief and grace, the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people. And we were proud of our wounded nation.”

In the aftermath of “the tragic loss of life and destruction,” Crawford said, “The nation grew in strength and unity.”

“More than two decades after the terrorist attacks, the effects of Sept. 11 have been complex and far-reaching,” said Crawford. “However, President Bush’s words from that evening’s Oval Office address still hold true: ‘Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.’”

Crawford thanked Lynnfield first responders for their service to the community.

“In addition to battling fires, firefighters perform important fire prevention and public education duties,” said Crawford. “If we or one of our loved ones experience a medical emergency, our medical professionals are there at a moment’s notice to provide lifesaving care. Police officers do not simply arrest criminals, they actively prevent crime and make our streets and neighborhoods safer so we can all live and sleep more peacefully. Dispatchers make sure your calls for help get processed and acted on immediately as they know that every second counts. What do you say to a first responder? You can simply say, ‘thank you!’ We are so grateful for the work you do in our community. Thank you for helping others when they can’t help themselves, for showing up to difficult situations ready to help, and for being a hero to those in need. You are very much appreciated and we are so thankful for your service.”

The ceremony’s attendees gave Crawford a round of applause after he concluded his remarks.

After Rev. Wyckoff gave the closing prayer, Angilly led attendees during a performance of “God Bless America.” Attendees were then treated to a cookout.

In addition to the First Responders Day ceremony, the town also lit up the Common’s lights in blue to recognize Lynnfield Police on Saturday, Sept. 10. The town lit the lights up in red in recognition of the Fire Department on Sunday, Sept. 11.