WESTPORT, Conn. -- Hundreds of people, led by family and friends, gathered at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport on Wednesday night to pay tribute to the men and women of Connecticut who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The names of each of the 161 people with ties to the state who died on Sept. 11 were read during the ceremony. Following reflections by Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and others, the family and friends of those lost carried flowers and placed them at the Sept. 11 memorial on the peninsula of the seaside park.
Brian Mattiello, former director of the Office of Family Support, led the ceremony. Three hopes are associated with the remembrance, he said.
"First, for us collectively, is that the individual stories of 9/11 stay alive. The stories told about the lives lost, the stories told through the deeds and actions of those left behind," Mattiello said. "Second, for you the family members, that you continue to heal and find comfort in knowing that your sense of loss is shared and that your displays of strength and courage is never lost on us and only leaves us with deep and amazed admiration."
The third hope, he said, was for humanity. "That hope is that we find a way to endure tragedy, that we respond to caring hands, and that we find roots again and that we impel to greatness."
The names of the victims were read by Brad Bullis, brother of Dianne Bullis Snyder; Paul Curioli, son of Paul Curioli; Sari Weatherwax, a family member and retired flight attendant who lost 16 colleagues on Sept. 11; and Patricia Mansfield, brother of T.J. Hargrave.
"We read these names of our family members to honor them, but we will always continue to remember and love them every day," Mansfield said. She said her brother "was the youngest of eight, was the father to three little girls, and leaves his wife, his mom, his brothers and sisters, and we miss him and love him all the time."
The best way to remember those who were lost is "we remain dedicated to one another, to supporting one another," Malloy said.
"Let us be dedicated to remembering those individuals, but let us also be dedicated to understanding the hatred that caused this loss. And let us pray and reflect that we overcome that as well, nationally and internationally, that some way more people find the right road to travel, one that is far less violent."
"Each of the 161 names etched in the Connecticut memorial is a whole life lived," said Wyman. "Milestones achieved, families brought into being, terrible moments, terribly funny moments, and everything in between. These are moments we can only know because the families of the victims have the strength and compassion to share their remembrance with us."
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