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Hundreds honor the victims and heroes of Sept. 11

WARRENSBURG Hundreds of townspeople turned out to participate in an an emotion-filled memorial service for those who were killed or saved others lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. An estimated 400 people, many holding lighted candles and listening to speeches and musical tributes, attended the event which was held at the town bandstand as darkness fell on the evening of Sept. 11. Warrensburg Free Methodist Church Pastor Richard Leonard started off the program with an invocation that implored everyone to heed the lessons learned from the tragedy and continue to care for each other as people did in the dark days following the attacks. Warrensburg Fire Chief Justin Hull recalled the tragic events. That day, everyone stopped in complete disbelief and asked how could this happen to us, he said. As a community, we are sending a message that we will never forget, he continued, as parents stood in the dark, many with tear-filled eyes and some hugged their children. Guest speaker former Secretary of State Sandy Treadwell said Warrensburgs turnout for the memorial service was exemplary. This is a very, very moving tribute, he said after listening to the Warrensburg High School Band play some selections and others offer their thoughts from the bandstand. A contingent of firefighters, led by Hull, placed a memorial wreath at a town monument next to the bandstand. Bagpipes of the Adirondack Pipes and Drums of Glens Falls wailed strains of Amazing Grace. Jason Hull offered a audio collage of songs recorded to memorialize the attacks, interspersed with clips of the newscasts and sounds of Sept. 11. The ceremony was sponsored by the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. in conjunction with the Warrensburg Emergency Medical Services. Emergency Squad member Cathy Emerson listened to the words and music and recalled how shed been working at the local laundromat that fateful day, and had gone home and cried with friends. Its something you will never forget, she said. And it is so good to know our community supports this memorial service like this every year. Observers said this years attendance topped several of the previous years. The service has been held for seven years straight. Jerry Grant watched the proceedings in reverence. Considering the acts of heroism that day, it was America at its best during the worst of times, he said. Fire Company President Kevin Geraghty promised the fire company would hold it each year into perpetuity. We will never forget, he said. Candle-light glistened in the tear-filled eyes of local resident Martie Smith. I had to be here for this, she said. I will always feel so bad for the families that lost their lives we live this once a year, but those families live through their grief all year long.

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