Rowland and Rell Lead Dignitaries at Sherwood Island Service
Gov. John G. Rowland and Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell led dignitaries tonight paying tribute at a Sherwood Island State Park ceremony honoring 151 people with Connecticut ties who died in the Sept. 11 attacks two years ago.
“That day is and always will be, first and foremost, about people,” Rowland said. “People who were called to eternity, people who were left behind to cope with loss.
Rowland and Rell were joined by other state and local officials, including Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell and Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp.
Several hundred people attended the unveiling of victims’ names in a memorial at the Westport park on Long Island Sound. A bell tolled as each victim’s name was read.
The memorial, which is on the waterfront with a view of Manhattan, was unveiled a year ago. The park was used as a staging point for Connecticut aid to New York in the aftermath of the attacks.
The addition of the names and four stone benches marks the memorial’s completion, according to Brian Mattiello, director of the Office of Family Support and coordinator for the project.
Carrying white roses, family members processed through the memorial at sunset as the bell tolled for the victims.
By the time the line wound its way through, piles of flowers, American flags, shiny copper pennies, pictures and funeral cards decorated the tribute site.
The memorial consists of three stone panels embedded in a rectangular patch of grass and framed by dirt pathways. Blocks engraved with the victims’ names are arranged in lines inside the rectangle.
At the head of the memorial, a raised angular stone bears an inscription: “The citizens of Connecticut dedicate this living memorial to the thousands of innocent lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and to the families who loved them.”