206 Mass. residents who died on 9/11 remembered in solemn ceremonies at State House, Public Garden
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
In a series of events in the heart of the city, public officials and citizens gathered today to commemorate the 206 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks who lived in Massachusetts.
John Curtis, a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino started the day of remembrance by placing a wreath of ivory flowers at the Sept. 11 memorial in Boston Public Garden.
“After the events of 9/11, many people recognized that we could not forget these 206 people that were lost,” Curtis said.
“The loved ones we lost were young and old, they were executives and homemakers, they were working and retired, they were students and teachers,” said Curtis.
Menino, US Senator Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, and Attorney General Martha Coakley watched the ceremony and offered words of condolences to the families of victims.
“Certainly to be here again is deeply moving,” Brown said. “It’s a time to be thoughtful and reflective and make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.”
Captain Jerry Feltault of American Airlines attended the memorial with his son to honor the airline crew members who perished in the attacks. Accompanied by his family, he stood in silence as he gazed at the memorial laden with flowers and American flags.
“Things like this are especially important for the Boston-based crews,” Feltault said. American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked by terrorists on 9/11 and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. “It’s helped us work through it.” United Airlines Flight 175 also departed from Logan International Airport. It crashed into the South Tower.
After the end of the memorial service in Boston Public Garden, George and Faye Kane placed a bouquet of purple and white flowers at the base of the inscribed names, considered the spot, then moved it a few feet over, peeling back the plastic wrapping to better display the blooming buds.
Even though the 10th anniversary of the attacks has passed, they said, they have not seen a dropoff in the public’s desire to take time on Sept. 11 to remember those who were lost.
“We’ve found the support has been just as strong as it always is,” Faye Kane said.
On the steps of the State House, Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray began the reading of the 206 names, and were joined by family of victims who gave personal messages when they read their loved one’s names.
“My funny sister, dearly missed and forever loved, Susan Blair,” said Leslie Blair.
A poem read by Larry Hunt took on particular poignancy in the chilly morning air.
“In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them,” Hunt said.
At the stretch of the Rose Kennedy Greenway adjacent to the New England Aquarium in downtown Boston, hundreds of volunteers gathered to assemble care packages for military servicemen and women at an event hosted by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.
Toiletries, socks, granola bars, and single-serving coffee packets, along with handwritten notes, were packed into 1,000 boxes to be shipped to military bases overseas, most of them in Afghanistan. This was the fourth year that the event has been held on September 11.
“It’s a remarkable thing for people to take a tragedy and turn it into something beautiful and meaningful,” said Patrick at the event.Martine Powers can be reached at MPowers@globe.com
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