~ Guest Commentary ~
We live in memory and gratitude to all those first responders who battled the immediate aftermath of those four planes that unsuccessfully attempted to destroy our American Spirit on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. They who took down the Twin Towers, they who crashed into the Pentagon Building, and that fourth hijacked plane that never made its target after passengers sacrificed their lives from taking even more lives. How can anyone alive that day not remember both it and the way we came together as One NATION?
East Boston in many ways can be viewed as the springboard for the Attacks on America launched on 9/11. We in this community resonate with those events when we recall those two passenger planes had set out from Logan Airport with the intention of taking out the World Trade Center and indeed, they did. We always feel lingering sadness and now every year since 2002, the community comes forward to remember as we just did on Sunday, September 11. This year was the 21st Anniversary Service held at Piers Park in East Boston.
On the first anniversary of 9/11, there was a small ceremony at Piers Park and there has now been one every year since. This year’s event was the first in three years due to the Pandemic but now it has returned to continually remember the tragedy of 9/11.
Folks like the late Fran Rowan were the inspiration for this annual ceremony. She has since passed but the torch is still being carried by her friends who joined in with her back then following 9/11. Folks like Liane Sherman now walk in Fran’s shadow along with so many others who won’t let the meaning of 9/11 ever be forgotten.
As Liane Sherman would say, it is important to remember all lost on that day. It is important to remember those selfless heroes who gave their lives that day trying to save those who had little chance of survival.
The world stood still that day but we didn’t and it is up to each of us to remember all of them. The resilience of the American spirit lives and it is through that spirit which brings folks back here to Piers Park to remember who all of us really are.
If 9/11 taught us anything, it was that we are ONE people. We may live in East Boston or Winthrop or Revere and beyond but we are all ONE people called Americans. Long ago I remember someone saying, America is a great nation because America is a good nation. When we stop being a good nation, we will stop being a great nation.
I invite everyone to come to Piers Park in East Boston next September 11 to remember those who perished, those who survived and those who sacrificed their lives to save others on that fateful day. We are all ONE people. We share pain. We share pride and together we will work to continue making America better. Let the memory of 9/11 make us a stronger people, too.