Wilmington remembers the tragic events of September 11 | New
WILMINGTON – On Saturday September 11, 2021, Wilmington officials and community members gathered to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the attack on the United States on 9/11/01.
The service began at the Wilmington High School auditorium. Before entering the auditorium, guests could view pencil portraits drawn by artist Gina Johnson. Johnson’s exhibit was titled “Putting a Face to Every Name” because the portraits were of 9/11 victims.
Once in the auditorium, the community gathered in front of a large projection screen that rotated scenes from that fateful day as well as photos of downtown memorials.
Members from all walks of life in the community were in attendance, including a large representation of the Wilmington High School student body. Members of the Wilmington High School uniformed football team gathered in remembrance as the Wilmington High School band performed songs such as “The National Anthem”, “America the Beautiful” and “Amazing Grace”.
The ceremony began with a procession of flags led by Wilmington Police and the Fire Department Honor Guard.
Master of Ceremonies, Wilmington Selectman Gregory Bendel, set the tone for the event, saying, “We have come together here to mourn our grief and strengthen our resolve.
Many city officials were in attendance and spoke poignantly about this tragic day in 2001.
State Senator Bruce Tarr focused on the state of mind of the American people during this time.
“Remember the unity that got us through those dark days,” he said.
Wilmington City Manager Jeffrey Hull recalled life before September 11 and the big differences in life after September 11.
Lilia Maselli, chair of the Wilmington Board of Selectmen, stressed the importance of this memorial.
“We need to tell our children and grandchildren about the tragedy of this day,” she said.
State Representative David Robertson almost cried as he recalled the events of the day of the 2001 bombing. He also remembered the unsettling silence of the days that followed.
Other speakers from the service included State Representative Ken Gordon, Wilmington Veterans Services Director Lou Cimaglia, Wilmington Police Chief Joseph Desmond and Wilmington Fire Chief William Cavanaugh.
Between the speakers, a solemn bell was rung followed by a moment of silence at impact for every fatal accident that occurred on September 11, 2001.
This portion of the ceremony concluded with words of comfort from Reverend Ron Grimley of Abundant Life Church and Reverend Peter Hey of United Methodist Church.
The ceremony then moved to the high school yard where a wreath was laid by the Wilmington High School September 11 Committee, followed by a blessing given by Fr. Ron Coyne of the Transfiguration Parish.
A wreath of remembrance was also placed at the Wilmington Public Safety Building and at the Wilmington War Memorial in the town.
The common ground was lined with 276 flags representing the people of Massachusetts who lost their lives in the September 11 attack.
City officials would like to thank the volunteer efforts of the students at Wilmington High School and Shawsheen Tech, veterans and other community members who helped fly the flags.
The organizers of this event also wish to thank all the municipal departments that played a role in the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 event, with special thanks to the 9/11 Committee.