Delaware County residents, fire, police, emergency medical service members and military members came together with county and local elected officials to honor and remember Sept. 11 at on Sunday.
About 250 people attended the ceremony hosted by Delaware County District Attorney Michael Green that honored not only 9/11 victims but also county first responders and military members who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Delaware County Sheriff Joseph McGinn, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam, read the names of Army Lieutenant Colonel Mark Phelan, Marine Corps Sergeant James Fordyce, Army Specialist Michael J. Smith, Army Staff Sergeant Joseph M. Kane and Army Private First Class Christopher W. Lotter—all servicemen from Delaware County who died for their country since Sept. 11, 2001.
McGinn said on behalf of the community he extended our "deepest condolences" for all the survivors and victim’s families.
Five wreathes were placed at park memorials, one to represent, law enforcement, fire service and EMS, Delaware County 9/11 victims and fallen military members.
"We honor everyone. Every man and woman who has lost their lives as first responders. And every man and woman who in the uniform of our country lost his or her life in the line of duty protecting (us). We owe all of them. And it is for that reason that we have joined today," Green said.
The law enforcement wreath was laid at the law enforcement memorial that was created for all county law enforcement officials who have lost their lives in the line of duty, Green said.
Two other wreathes were laid at a memorial that stands in honor of fire and EMS personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty and the last two wreathes were laid at a county 9/11 memorial.
Green said at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001 the world changed.
"For every American, our world view changed in that instant," Green said.
Delaware County Council Chairman Jack Whelan said he considers all county first responders and military members to be heroes.
"On behalf of county council, I salute you and I thank you," he said. "I thank all of you for protecting us."
Whelan said no one will ever forget that day and it’s important to gather together to "revisit, reflect and reconnect."
State Rep. Nick Miccarelli, a member of the Army National Guard who served in Iraq, also spoke to the crowd and said everyone should recognize 9/11 as a day the country came together and chose to fight back.
He spoke of several Delaware County "regular" people who chose to fight back in their everyday lives by helping to stop a robbery, a fight or a shooting.
He said those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, firemen, police and military veterans like Phelan, Fordyce, Smith, Kane and Lotter who were honored on this 10th anniversary, they too all chose to fight back.
"What do all these people have in common? Well first they are all from Delaware County, which everyone here knows makes them tough by nature. And second, they all had a choice, each and every one of them. They could have looked the other way but they chose to put themselves at risk," Miccarelli said.
"And today on 9/11 all of us have a choose to make. Will we give a little bit of ourselves? Will we follow the example of our nation's first responders and veterans? Or will we look the other way and hope that someone else will fight our fires, protect our streets, save our loved ones and fight our wars? I ask you all to choose to give a little bit of yourselves because the people memorialized here deserve nothing less."