Groton, New London to commemorate 9/11 anniversary

As the nation prepares to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Wednesday, New London Mayor Michael Passero and the local Navy community have invited the public to gather in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that day, some of whom were from southeastern Connecticut.

At 8:30 a.m., the southeastern Connecticut Navy community will commemorate the 18th anniversary of those events with a flag retirement ceremony at the Submarine Force Library & Museum at 1 Crystal Lake Road, Groton. The ceremony will be led by the prospective chief petty officers of the Groton Area Chief Petty Officers Association. The event is free and open to the public.

Simultaneously, churches and faith institutions across New London will ring their bells at 8:46 a.m., marking the moment the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

New London residents are asked to then take a few minutes to remember the 2,977 victims who died on Sept. 11, “including 343 New York City firefighters and 60 police officers,” Passero said in a news release.

Out of the 65 Connecticut residents who died in the attacks, local victims include New London native Jim Tobin, Josh Piver of Stonington and James A. Greenleaf Jr. of Waterford, as well as New London residents Ruth McCourt and her 4-year-old daughter Juliana, who have since been memorialized in various ways throughout the Whaling City, including most recently a memorial stone honoring Juliana placed at the McCourt Sept. 11 Garden at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.

The McCourts were passengers on United Airlines flight 175, which crashed into the World Trade Center’s south tower at 9:03 a.m. while the two were headed on a trip to Disneyland.

“We also honor and remember all the heroes of 9/11 who served in our military services and have sacrificed their lives over these past 18 years fighting the war on terror,” Passero wrote.

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