WORCESTER, Mass. - There’s a sea of American flags at Anna Maria College. Each one represents one of the almost 3,000 people who died during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“We remember those we lost in the terrorist attacks," said Vice Chair of Paxton Select Board Julia Pingitore. "But 20 years later, it’s important that we remember so much more, remember the bravery of the passengers on the flights, remember the selfless sacrifice of the first responders who rushed in when everyone else was rushing out."
Dozens of people attended Saturday’s tribute at Anna Maria College to reflect on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“I’m thinking of this person this represents and all the people it represents,” Terry Ireton, who came to 9/11 20th anniversary tribute, said. “Though I love this country and were are a great nation. And we all need to need to appreciate what people have done for us to give us our freedom.”
Some of the victims of 9/11 include members of the Central Massachusetts community, like Tara Creamer. Her family was honored at the ceremony.
“We appreciate it so much, and God bless you all," Tara’s husband, John Creamer, said.
State and local leaders also shared how 9/11 impacted the community.
“The attacks on Sept. 11th 2001 effected all of us,” Anna Maria College president Mary Lou Retelle said. “But they effected the Ana Maria particularly because so many of our graduates are represented in public service and the caring professions. This is why we are honoring this special day with this tribute."
Some Anna Maria graduate Ed Davis went to ground zero to help search through the rubble.
“I was there when the FBI uncovered the bodies of the six fire fighters who were found in the stair well, Davis, a former Boston police commissioner, said. “I got to see what this impact did first hand.”
And that impact, along with a sense of patriotism, continues to be felt across the Central Massachusetts community 20 years later.