Watertown community attends 9/11 commemoration at American Legion

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) —While ceremonies are being held across the country to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, many from the Watertown community gathered on Saturday to do the same.

Over a hundred people gathered at the American Legion, Army and Navy Posy 61 in Watertown on September 11 to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the attacks in 2001. The program began at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and featured multiple key speakers including members from the Watertown Fire Department, Watertown Police Department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The First Vice Commander Rocco Crescenzi said the purpose of the event was to allow the community to reflect on what happened 20 years ago. Although he was happy to see the community’s support, he did not lose sight of the reason they were there. 

“It’s just very sad occasion that you have to bring people out on,” Crescenzi said.

Sirens wailed throughout the ceremony to mark the times of the attacks and serve as a reminder of how the day etched into the minds of many unfolded. One by one individuals from the community went on stage to read the names of first responders and law enforcement officers who lost their lives in 2001.

The chairman of the 9/11 commemoration Carl Disalvatore said he was happy to see so many volunteer their time to honor those who gave their lives. He said it’s important to remember tragic events like those that occurred in 2001 to ensure they don’t happen again. 

“It’s very gratifying, especially to see the citizens and Watertown volunteers read the names,” Disalvatore said. “When you read the names it’s a physical experience with the hopes and aspirations and the lives that were cut short.”

The ceremony also honored Fort Drum soldiers who lost their lives during the War on Terror. Crescenzi said the event should serve as a reminder to honor those who risk their lives every day.

“If you see a fireman, or if you see a police officer or a volunteer go up shake their hand and thank them for what they do, because they don’t give enough thanks,” Crescenzi urged.

Members of the Legion that helped organize the commemoration thanked the mayor, those from Fort Drum who contributed and other individuals who donated their time for making the ceremony possible.

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