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9/11 marks a day of remembrance across Broome County

(WBNG) — In every corner of the Southern Tier, ceremonies and memorials took place, marking one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.

In Vestal, nearly three thousand flags were displayed on the front lawn of the United Way of Broome County. Each flag represented someone who died in the attacks.

Local veterans also gathered there to raise the American flag Wednesday morning, and lowered that night.

United Way Executive Director Jaqueline Gerchman says those who lost their lives that day will always remain in the hearts of her staff, as well as the entire community.

“Firefighters, military personnel, first responders or individuals who just went to work, it wasn’t their plan for the day and it’s certainly that moment that stays in the hearts of all of us,” explained Gerchman.

Over in the Town of Dickinson, students and staff at SUNY Broome were joined by Broome County Sheriff’s deputies and other local officials for their own remembrance ceremony.

Dozens gathered at the flag pole in front of the Darwin R. Wales Center on campus for a moment of silent reflection.

“It’s important as a college in particular to remember our history, and especially moments like this, to remind people how fragile our free democracy is. That’s why we were attacked, because we are a free democracy. They didn’t know me or you, they didn’t hate me or you, you know, they hated what we stood for,” said SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm.

Senator Fred Akshar, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, Binghamton Mayor Rich David and Broome County Sheriff Dave Harder all attended the ceremony.

In Binghamton, a moment of silence was held at the 9/11 memorial outside Binghamton City Hall Wednesday morning.

Binghamton firefighters, police officers, city employees and community members gathered to reflect on the tragic events, and recognize the first responders who paid the ultimate sacrifice to save others.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David also honored members of the Binghamton Police and Fire Departments, many of whom jumped into action that day, rushing to ground zero.

“Many of you didn’t know what your assignments or tasks would be, you just hopped in your cars, drove south, and figured when three hours came and you arrived, you would know what to do,” Mayor David said.

Mayor David also reminded all in attendance of the promise once made by our nation to never forget the events of that day.

“Not just today on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but throughout the year, we renew that promise by sharing what we remember with each other, and with our children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren,” Mayor David explained.

Dan Conklin

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