by Doug La Rocque
“Never forget” still remains on the lips of those old enough to remember the horrific events on the morning of September 11, 2001. 20-years later, people gathered around the flag pole outside the Rensselaer County Office Building in Troy to commemorate those who lost their lives when planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and a field in Shanksville, PA. That plane, brought down by a group of courageous passengers to prevent it from striking its supposed target, believed to have been the U.S. Capitol or the White House.
The Friday morning, September 10 ceremony was lead by County Executive Steve McLaughlin, with innovation and benediction by the Bishop Norman Macklin. Assemblyman Jake Ashby was one of the speakers, who noted he was in his senior year in college the day of the attacks and was so moved by it – he joined the Army. Mr. Ashby eventually rose to the rank of Captain and completed combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a humanitarian mission in Africa.
The most moving comments came from Richard French, who worked in regional operations at Ground Zero in NYC, remembering all that he experienced in the days following the attack.
A more complete report on the area’s 9-11 ceremonies will appear in next week’s edition.