An Islamorada firefighter rang the golden bell several times as fellow first responders and community members took a moment to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the lives lost and the ultimate sacrifices by police, firefighters and others at a remembrance ceremony at Station 20.
Islamorada Fire Rescue Lt. Carlos Moreton guided the somber ceremony, which included prayer by Pastor Tony Hammon and remarks by Village Manager Ted Yates and state Rep. Jim Mooney.
“I can remember where I was when it all started unfolding,” Yates said. “I can feel the emotion that I had that day as I watched planes crashing into towers on live TV and the people and the tragedy. It forever changed how we live and how we travel, but this country has become strong from it.”
Mooney said an island some 1,300 miles north of Islamorada was under assault. “Our freedom was under assault, our nation was under assault and our guts were under assault,” he said.
As the assault on the Twin Towers took 2,763 lives, Mooney said there were two other assaults. An attack at the Pentagon resulted in 189 lives lost, which included 64 lives on American Airlines Flight 77. On United Flight 93, Americans refused to go down without a fight. All 44 people aboard were killed when the plane crashed in a rural field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Mooney said the group on the United plane saved thousands of others’ lives.
“While the attacks were intended to break the Samaritan spirit, they did just the opposite,” Mooney said.