Every year at this time for the past 13 years, the colors of our stars and stripes seem to become more vibrant—more deeply connected to this beloved country and our quest to come together as one and never forget. Whether you live in the heart of New York City, on the opposite coast or a short train ride away, Americans from all over take a moment to honor those lost on this tragic Tuesday morning in September.
This year, our very own state of Connecticut offers various ways to respect the fallen heroes of 9/11 with numerous local community events, tributes and memorial services. From annual masses in remembrance of local service men and women, to a sea of motorcyclists from all over the east coast eager to finish a 60-mile patriotic journey through the state, the opportunities to honor our fellow lost Americans are endless.
Here are just a few ways to become detached from the trivial bustle of most days, and instead immerse yourself in the community and unified memory for all those precious lives ended far too soon.
The tributes started early for Fairfield County, host to New England’s largest event of remembrance, the 14th annual CT United Ride. This past Sunday, thousands of motorcyclists came together eager to ride a 60-mile journey through ten different Connecticut towns, each lined with cheering crowds and red, white and blue pride to respect those who lost their lives and those who continue to put their lives on the line every day to protect us as a result of 9/11. The race began at Norden Park, where numerous state officials, service men and women and the Connecticut Fife and Drums Corps, came together in memory of the police officers, firefighters and EMTs who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Proud participants raised $60,000 this year to benefit family emergency relief funds for Connecticut police officers, firefighters and two local United Ways.
Upcoming ways to pay your respects to the victims of 9/11 include numerous memorial services, many of which recognize lost members of their specific community. Here is a list of a few notable services throughout the state. In addition, a 5K run in memory of Danbury resident Candace Lee Williams will take place on September 13th at 10 AM, beginning at a 9/11 memorial tree in Tarrywile Park. The race, started by the 20-year-old victim’s three friends, benefits Tuesday’s Children’s First Responders Alliance Program, a program that works with surviving 9/11 first responders and their families, as well as the the Candace Lee Williams Scholarship Fund at Immaculate High School. For more information and to register to run in honor of Candace and all those lost in the World Trade Center attacks, please visit the Candace Lee Williams 5K Run to Remember website here.
Local first responders will be honored at the annual Blue Mass in Darien. Held on Sunday, September 14th, at 11:30 AM at Saint John Church in Darien, this memorial service pays respect to fire, police and rescue workers who gave their lives to save others. People of all faiths are encouraged to join in this morning of prayer and remembrance.
The towns of Fairfield County offer plenty of other ways to remember, as well. Be sure to stop by your local community’s tribute to help to carry on our heroes’ legacies and never forget.