(WWLP) – Tuesday marks 17 years since almost 3,000 people were killed in the worst terror attack in the country’s history.
Remembrance ceremonies took place throughout western Massachusetts in honor of the victims of the attacks.
The West Springfield community gathered at the eternal flame on the town green today – exactly 17 years after the terrorist attacks on Manhattan, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania on September 11th, 2001.
Melissa Harrington Hughes lived in West Springfield and was one of nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11.
A ceremony was held on the town green Tuesday, where an eternal flame burns in her memory.
Melissa’s father, Bob Harrington, said his daughter was in the North Tower ten floors above where the plane hit.
“I think about how much I miss her, and how much her brother misses her and her mother misses her,” Harrington said. “But we all have pleasant memories, and if you close you eyes, you can see her.”
Survivors of the three 9/11 victims from Westfield placed a wreath this morning, honoring their dead, at the city’s 9/11 Memorial.
Five years ago the city of Westfield created the 9/11 memorial on North Elm Street.
Inscribed are the names of Tara Kathleen Creamer, Brian Murphy, and Daniel Tract.
Family members placed a wreath at the monument and recalled the tragedy that took the lives of their loved ones.
“I think of Tara, I think of all the poor people at the World Trade Center who suffered on this day,” said James Shea, Tara’s father. “Like I said it before, no mattered what our differences are in this country we are the greatest county on earth.”
Dozens of first responders gathered with city officials, community members, and those who lost loved ones at the city’s annual September 11 Remembrance Ceremony.
Pride and spirit painted the Raymond Sullivan Complex, as more than 20 American Flags stood tall during the ceremony.
Springfield Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi told 22News he wants future generations to remember the good that was done on September 11.
“It’s a moment for everyone to remember and pay tribute as generations and years go forward,” Calvi said. “People made sacrifices that day so others could live–paid the ultimate sacrifice laying down their lives so other Americans could survive.”
A wreath was also laid outside of the complex.
Chicopee’s first responders gathered at the city’s public safety complex to honor the memory of 9/11 victims.
An honor guard stood at attention as the gathering led by Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos saluted the thousands who perished that September 11th morning 17 years ago.
Fire Chief Dean Demarais spoke of the loss of the 489 first responders.
“It’s an interesting career, it’s an interesting calling,” Demarais said. “Our brothers and sisters throughout the nation, today is a day we remember well the loss of them.”
As a symbol of respect, the public safety complex flag was lowered to half staff until the conclusion of the 9/11 remembrance ceremony.
People in Agawam gathered at the Agawam Fire Department Headquarters, where the town’s 9/11 memorial is located.
Members of the Agawam fire and police departments, Mayor William Sapelli, and residents honored both civilians and first responders who died in the terrorist attacks.
Fire Chief Alan Sirois told 22News that although it’s a somber day, it’s important to remember what happened on 9/11.
“I think it’s important for us all to make sure we keep this day in our memories, we remember the tragedy of that day and make sure we pass on that information and that legacy to those who might have been too young to remember that day,” Sirois said.
The 9/11 monument in Agawam was dedicated one year after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
About a dozen people who either lived or grew up in western Massachusetts died in the September 11th attacks.