CONWAY — On a beautiful blue-skied morning eerily like that fateful morning 20 Septembers ago, an estimated crowd of 175 gathered in North Conway’s Schouler Park last Saturday to pay solemn tribute to the approximately 3,000 people who lost their lives during the terror attacks of 9/11.
The observances once again were emceed by local state Rep. Steve Woodcock (D-Conway), an Army veteran and member of American Legion Post 95.
As the Stars and Stripes and a black POW-MIA flag flew at half mast, attendees were given small American flags upon their arrival.
In his remarks, Woodcock said, “I expect that most of us here are old enough to recall that day and exactly where we were and what we were doing. If not, those horrific images are embedded in our minds by the multiple days of non-stop television videos of the crash sites, the smoke, the collapse of the towers and the searching of the sites — initially for survivors and then for remains … and annually ever since.
“But what I don’t see every year annually on television and in print media are the pictures of the rebirth of patriotism and the unified support of this nation,” said Woodcock. “That caring and concern for each other is what needs to return. That should also be a part of the 9/11 legacy.”
Woodcock pointed out the 9/11 memory board that Allison Solomon, 22, and Danielle Solomon, 20, daughters of Conway Village Fire Chief Steve Solomon in conjunction with the Conway Public Library had on display for people to sign. The board will be part of the library’s monthlong exhibit on 9/11.
Clergy representatives included the Rev. Gail Doktor of Jackson, the Rev. John Hogue of First Church of Christ, Congregational of North Conway, and Father Brad Mathias of St. Margaret’s Anglican Church of Conway, the chaplain for the American Legion Post 46 of Conway.
Hale's Location resident Muriel Magg led those assembled in a rendition of “God Bless America.”
At 8:46 a.m., the time when the first hijacked plane was flown on Sept. 11, 2001, into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, Helen Goss of Chalmers Insurance Group lay a flower in honor of those working in the financial industry who died in the attacks.
At 9:03 a.m., Post 95 adjutant Steve Robinson lay a flower in honor of those who died when the second plane hit the South Tower. At 10:03 a.m., Karl Pfeil of Post 95 lay a flower in honor of the 40 passengers and crew members who died in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa.
Law enforcement and local fire personnel then lay flowers, and Post 95 Commanderr Jim Lefebvre lay a flower in honor of those killed and wounded in the attack on the Pentagon, followed by two-tour U.S. Army veteran Capt. Ray Gilmore of Bartlett, who lay a flower in honor of all who served in the recently concluded wars in Afghan and Iraq.
Serving as bell ringer was Woodcock’s nephew, David F. MacKinnon of the Haverhill, Mass., police department’s honor guard.
A trumpet solo of “America the Beautiful” was performed by Dana Russian. Taps were played by former Conway Selectman Stacy Sand of North Conway at the conclusion of the ceremonies at approximately 9:20 a.m.
A 9/11 moment of silence was held at Mud Bowl's Hog Coliseum at the start of Saturday's games. Once again, “Flags on the 48" events were held on New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-foot peaks. The Wright Museum in Wolfeboro also held ceremonies.