The West Springfield community gathered at the eternal flame on the town green Tuesday, exactly 17 years after the terrorist attacks on Manhattan, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
“We don’t want to let it go to history, and forget that this is something that happened,” said West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt. “We were all around and remember it. It’s important that we teach the next generation that same thing.”
Melissa Harrington-Hughes lived in West Springfield and was one of nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11. The eternal flame on the Town Green is in her memory.
“We all have pleasant memories and if you close your eyes, you can see her,” said Melissa’s father, Bob Harrington.
He said his daughter was in New York on a business trip.
“She flew in Monday night, and didn’t make it the next day,” said Harrington. “She was in the North Tower. Anyone above the hit line, no one got out. All the stairwells were blown out.”
About a dozen people who either lived in or grew up in western Massachusetts were killed on 9/11.