Public officials, current and retired police officers and firefighters, and citizens gathered at Forman Park in downtown Syracuse this morning to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler, Syracuse Fire Chief Paul Linnertz lit candles and stood in front of the police memorial. Seventeen minutes of silence was observed representing the time between the first and second planes hitting the twin towers of the World Trade Centers.
Police Chief Fowler said he never imagined something like 9/11 could happen.
"It truly broke my heart, to some degree broke my spirit; as a true American I bounced back. And I know that we've shored up our critical infrastructure to make sure we're not as vulnerable today as we were back then. This is just another challenge in our history that took place and its made us stronger as Americans," said Fowler.
Mayor Miner said New Yorkers are all all one or two degrees away from having a personal story about Sept. 11.
"Everyone was glued to the television and it seemed like it was bad news and bad news and bad news 'cause there was no survivors. And yet these miraculous, courageous stories and people really coming together as Americans to help each other. So out of that tragedy, how we really showed what our truest core strengths are and our compassion," the mayor said.
Other memorial events were held around the region, including one at Fort Drum.