Sep 12
"SOUTH HADLEY - When it comes to groups of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, first responders were among those hardest hit. A commemoration on the Town Common Sunday offered a stark and visual reminder of that fact, as an estimated 200 people held tiny flags - 434 in total - each representing a firefighter, police officer, security worker, or civilian volunteer who died in the line of duty that day. South Hadley Firefighter Robert Blaney, who worked with Lt. Scott Brady and Assistant Fire Chief Todd Calkins to organize the event, said he was touched by the participation. "I think it brings the community together, everybody seems to enjoy getting out and seeing each other," he said. "Smaller events outside the station have been held before every year, but this is the first time we've done it on the green." Blaney also said town officials have talked about holding services like this on a grander scale every five years, for example on the 15th and 20th anniversaries. "But the interim ones will be back to smaller, low keys of silence," he said. The event drew South Hadley firefighters and police officers, who began the service with a procession of officers. Also on hand were state Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley, and the Rev. Eugene Honan from St. Patrick's Church. The service included prayers, songs and moments of silence. "We can't forget the losses, there are people here who have experienced physical losses, lost friends and lost family members and we're looking at a generation of youngsters who weren't born 10 years ago," said Scibak..." View the full article.