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Easton Firefighters Honor Lives Lost on Sept. 11

EASTON, Conn. – Eunice and Lee Hanson watched Sunday as the Easton Volunteer Fire Company unveiled its Sept. 11 memorial, dedicated to the lives lost in the terror attacks that day, including their son as well as his wife and daughter.

A steel beam from the World Trade Center stands on two beams, one taller than the other, which represent the two towers. The beam is angled toward the door, inviting visitors into the firehouse, said Fire Chief Jim Girardi.

Monsignor Thomas Driscoll from Notre Dame of Easton offered a blessing. "May we find support and faith in each other; thanksgiving for heroism far beyond the call of duty," said Driscoll. "May this be a reminder, each day, to us of the tragedy and heroism involved 10 years ago this day."

Girardi spoke of the 343 firefighters who died saving countless lives that Tuesday morning in 2001. "Not one of these men thought once of their own safety," said Girardi. "We cannot bring back our brothers. But, we can prevent" a similar attack from happening in the future.

Nine years ago, Cara Neary of Easton wrote an essay on the first anniversary of Sept. 11, which she read at the ceremony Sunday.

"Everyone else seemed very scared, except for the firefighters," she said. She spoke of the pride she feels toward the firefighters and a family friend whose body was found on a staircase. He had worked on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center.

A total of 343 flags adorned the firehouse green in the shape of the twin towers. In front of the flags was a photo of Peter, Sue and Christine Hanson, the family who died when their plane, United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the World Trade Center.

To close the ceremony, Dave Davies, who worked at Ground Zero the Friday after the attacks, rang a bell in five sets of five – a signal used in New York to advise that someone had died.

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