MONTICELLO—Every year, first responders and emergency personnel, along with friends and family gather at the Monticello Fire Department on Richardson Avenue to pay tribute to those who lost …
MONTICELLO—Every year, first responders and emergency personnel, along with friends and family gather at the Monticello Fire Department on Richardson Avenue to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. This year marks 20 years since two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, another crashed into the United States Pentagon, and another crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Nearly 3,000 perished on that day and changed life forever, not only for New Yorkers but for America. The message for the memorial in Monticello was never to forget and always remember what happened 20 years ago. And for the last 20 years, the Monticello Fire Department has done just that.
County Coroner and Monticello Fire Department member Alan Kesten read a journal entry of a Sullivan County resident who wrote down their thoughts of the day as they went to Ground Zero to aid in the emergency.
The journal entry told the story of an American Red Cross volunteer and her journey on that tragic day and the days after. It recalled the drive down from Sullivan County and the smell in the air when they finally reached their destination, Ground Zero. It told how everyone watched the horror unfold on the television news in the days after the terrorist attack. She wrote about her loved ones who also went down in the days after to help in the recovery, and she said she always prayed for their safe return. She wrote about what she witnesses in New York City, seeing the rubble, the destruction but also seeing the grief on people’s faces. Her words encapsulate this moment in time.
With tears in his eyes, Kesten revealed the journal entry belonged to beloved Sullivan County resident Maria Ann Frangipane, a long-time American Red Cross Volunteer who passed away in 2020.
Sullivan County Court Judge Jim Farrell was the guest speaker for the memorial. He praised the Monticello Fire Department for its dedication to remembering 9/11.
Farrell said, “Monticello Fire Department has been the vanguard of ensuring that we remember and that we pause our busy lives to honor the sacrifice of so many great Americans [by] holding this ceremony every year without fail since the attacks.”
Farrell recounted the many heroic tales that came out of the tragic event, how firefighters raced toward the burning Twin Towers as smoke and fire billowed out, how some civilians sprung into action to help. He reminded those who came to listen and remember how some people have never been found. He asked the crowd to pause to remember them.
“We also remember in this day is a stark reminder that there are evil forces in this world that would like to eliminate and destroy this great country, and they must be dealt with,” said Farrell.
He urged everyone to remember the men and women who are currently serving in the military and are fighting battles against terrorism.
Farrell added, “We will not forget those who have gone before us and served and sacrificed for us. We will never forget.”