Community remembers lives lost on 9/11 through ceremonies at RIT and Irondequoit

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — At 8:15 a.m. on September 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 175 took off from Boston. It would ultimately crash into the World Trade Center.

At 8:15 a.m. on September 11, 2023, Students in RIT’s ROTC program started their memorial for the terrorist attack 22 years ago.

“I was born pre-911, obviously, I’m only 20 years old,” ROTC member Nicholas Randall said. “But being in a post-9/11 generation, it’s important to understand where we can go as a nation moving forward.”

The students were joined by campus police, ROTC instructors, and Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter, who gave a speech.

Later that morning, the Irondequoit Police Department also held a memorial for the fallen. Irondequoit Fire Chief Steven Sessler was among the attendees.

“The further we get it can be a little easy to kind of begin to forget the details and the impact it had on everybody,” Sessler said.

He started at the fire department in the summer of 2002, just a few months after the attack. He attended the first annual memorial.

“Only a couple months in the reflection it caused — to think about sacrifice, and what it means to work in this field and to serve really was a strong feeling,” he said. “I think it’s important to do these memorials to remind people exactly what occurred and how it affected everybody and affected everybody’s lives. Whether you were in New York at the time or anywhere else in the country, the entire country felt this event.”

Other events held in the greater Rochester area included the Brockport Firefighter Memorial Ceremony, the Seneca Falls March of Remembrance, and the Veterans Outreach Center’s “Operation We Remember.”

Local nonprofit Operation Patriot Foundation also held their annual tribute concert and motorcycle ride at Ontario Beach Park Monday morning.

9/11 ceremony at Irondequoit Town Hall (Credit: Johnny Nixon / WHEC)

Events commemorating 9/11 this afternoon

Brockport Firefighter Memorial Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. through 6:30 p.m.: Throughout the day in Brockport on 9/11, there will be remembrance ceremonies hosted by The Brockport Fire District. The opening ceremony is at South Main Street in Brockport at 8:30 a.m. and a bell will ring at 8:47 a.m. to mark the time when the first plane hit. The Ring of Gold event will take place at 6 p.m. and the closing ceremony will be at 6:30 p.m.

March/Walk of Remembrance at 7 p.m.: Community members from Seneca Falls and the Finger Lakes will gather at South Seneca High School to march/walk with the Ovid Fire Department. The walk will start at the school and end on Brown Street. A ceremony will take place after the walk with refreshments.