Seekonk Holds 16th Annual 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony
The town of Seekonk held its annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony on Monday, Sept. 11 at the public safety headquarters to honor the men and women who died in the terrorist attacks and the many first responders who worked that day and those who continue to serve the country today.
It’s been 16 years since the terrorist attacks in 2001 and Seekonk has held a ceremony every year. Former Town Clerk Jan Parker vowed to always help coordinate the ceremony as long as she was town clerk and she did. Parker retired last year and now Town Clerk Florice Craig has taken up the reins with the help of Police Chief Craig Mace. Ms. Craig served as master of ceremonies at this year’s event. “We come together today, not to celebrate, but to remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Fire, and Police personnel to help save others . . . We give thanks to all our first responders as well as to the men and women whose names are etched on granite memorials,” Craig said.
Town Administrator Shawn Cadime thanked the men and women who serve in the Seekonk Police, Fire, Dispatch and Communication Departments. “They do a phenomenal job day in and day out serving not only our community, but our country,” Cadime said. The Seekonk Police and Fire Department Honor Guards presented the colors and students from Aitken and Martin Elementary School led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Selectmen Chairman David Andrade said he remembers how time stood still that morning and ceremonies like this one are important because they ensure that we won’t forget. “Ceremonies like today are so important. They provide us with an opportunity to publicly highlight the selflessness and bravery of the public safety departments as well as the individuals on that day,” Andrade said.
State Rep. Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk talked about the numbers of people whose lives were affected that day and how the attacks forever changed how the country deals with national security. He reminded everyone that 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers and 2,996 people in the Twin Towers lost their lives and 6,000 were injured.
Police Chief Craig Mace read the Policeman’s Prayer rather than give remarks as he usually does.
Patrolman Costantino Natale, who served in the R.I. National Guard for 20 years as well as three deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, represented the Police Department. “The war on terror is still being fought across several battlefields around the world and here at home. I had the opportunity to be involved in some of those conflicts. I’m honored to still be able to serve my country overseas and at home if necessary,” Natale said. “Over the years that have passed, we’ve been able to move forward, to rebuild and regroup but we’ve never forgotten those that paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Natale said.
Moira Dowd sang the National Anthem and Richard McDonough, a North Attleboro firefighter, played the bagpipe. The Seekonk High School brass ensemble led by Music Director John Smialek, performed a selection of patriotic songs.
The invocation was given by Reverend Joy Utter, pastor of Seekonk Congregational Church. Reverend John Amaral, of New Destiny Christian Assembly, gave the benediction.