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Greenwich's New 9/11 Memorial Forever Shines Light On Dark Day

Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei speaks at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning.
Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei speaks at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
A singer performs at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning.
A singer performs at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
Two white flowers -- which many attendees held -- sit on a granite bench at the memorial Friday morning,.
Two white flowers -- which many attendees held -- sit on a granite bench at the memorial Friday morning,. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
A violinist performs at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning.
A violinist performs at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
News crews film the bagpipe procession at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning.
News crews film the bagpipe procession at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
A bagpiper performs at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning.
A bagpiper performs at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
James Ritman, whose group raised money for the new memorial, speaks at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning.
James Ritman, whose group raised money for the new memorial, speaks at Greenwich's 9/11 Memorial dedication Friday morning. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

GREENWICH, Conn. — A somber crowd bearing white flowers remembered the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, with a gathering at Greenwich’s much-awaited memorial at Cos Cob Park on Friday morning.

With their backs against the glistening Mianus River, attendees quietly stood on the path that surrounds the memorial on a hill overlooking the water.

Dignitaries spoke in front of a podium set before two glass towers, which bear the names of those connected to Greenwich who lost their lives in the terror attacks.

“Today’s memorial unveiling is a poignant moment for Greenwich the family members were lost 14 years ago,” First Selectman Peter Tesei told the crowd. “This beautiful monument, with its use of transparent architectural design and symbolism, will forever shed light on what was a dark day in our country’s history.”

Two people who lost relatives in the attacks read the name of each person who had died in the towers or in the planes. Each name was followed by the striking of a bell, whose chime echoed through the silent crowd.

The reading of names ended with a sudden firing of a canon and the sounding of "Taps."

The event was silent except for the words of the speakers and the hush of traffic from I-95. Many canines stood knowingly and silently on their leashes as their owners paid their respects.

Nearby Metro-North trains carried commuters to and from New York, where so many had lost their lives on that September day.

Only 14 years ago, some boarded those very trains never to return home.

But with the new memorial, which was nearly five years in the making, organizers hope they will never be forgotten.

Schoolchildren will be able to visit the memorial to learn about one of America’s — and the town’s — darkest days, said James Ritman, co-president of the Greenwich Community Projects Fund Inc., which raised money for the project.

One man who lost his son told Ritman that he thinks about his son every day. He said the purpose of the memorial was to ensure that his son -- and those lost on that day -- will always be remembered.

“For me,” Ritman recalled the man saying, “This is about future generations never forgetting what happened on September 11.”

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