Town honors 9/11 with solemn ceremony
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 2001, Veterans Advisory Board Chair Chris Pereira recalled the town gathering at Memorial Stadium to process and unite over the events of that tragic day.
“It was really unique,” Veterans Advisory Board Chair Chris Pereira recalled. “People were all lined up along the field.”
Twenty years later, residents again unified at the stadium to honor the victims of those attacks, along with reflecting on the heroism on that day and the years following Sept. 11.
“The attacks on our great nation years ago changed more than the skyline of New York City,” Veterans Service Officer Matthew Broulliette said. “The attacks changed an entire generation of Americans.”
The tribute, hosted by the Veteran’s Advisory Board, began with the singing of the national anthem by Dartmouth High senior Gabriela Reardon and was followed by brief remarks from Brouilliette and Pereira.
In attendance were members of the Veterans Advisory Board, VFW and Auxiliary, Select Board, American Legion and police and fire honor guards.
During his remarks, Pereira took time to reflect on the loss of Dartmouth-native Leah Oliver, who was working on the 96th floor of the North Tower that morning, the day before her 25th birthday, when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center.
“Leah would be 45 tomorrow,” Pereira said. “May God bless her and her family always.”
Along with mourning those lost, speakers also reflected on how that tragic day showed the best of the American people.
Pereira recalled the bravery of the first responders who headed into the towers “knowing their chances of survival were next to none.”
“They did so because people were in danger,” he said. “Their acts those days saved countless people.”
Pereira also reflected on the sacrifice of America’s military in the “War on Terror” that followed the attacks, including that of Peter G. Enos of South Dartmouth, who died in Iraq in 2004 at the age of 24.
His father, Gerald, ended the ceremony by placing a wreath next to the stadium’s stone memorial underneath the flag pole to the sound of a lone trumpeter playing taps.
“As we reflect on this day and honor our fellow Americans and country, we need to ensure that 9/11 isn’t forgotten and that it never happens again,” Pereira said.