This morning a large crowd gathered behind the Montville VFW Hall to pay respects and honor to the memory of those that died on September 11, 2001. It was a bright sunny day, just like that fateful morning 16 years ago. Six (6) Montville residents perished that day. The were: Gayle R. Greene, Thomas V. Linehan, James Martello James Romito, Paul Skrzypek and Dennis Gerard Taormina.
The ceremony included speeches from Mayor James Sandham, Jr. and Senator Joe Pennacchio. Here is the full text from Senator Joe Pennacchio's 9-11 Speech today in Montville:
"We gather here today to remember the thousands of lives lost on the horrific day of September 11, 2001. Not only do we remember those who perished that day but, also the thousands of soldiers killed and maimed in worldwide conflicts protecting our freedoms since that evil day. Men with hate in their hearts sought to destroy us and have us kneel before them. Americans were brought to their knees, but in humble subjugation to a good and righteous God, to thank him for his blessings that he has bestowed upon this land. We survived and will continue to survive because Americans recognize the exceptional country we have and the good people that we are. We more importantly recognize that it is God who gave us these rights and blessings and only God who can take them away. Ultimately, it will be our creator who destroys evil. America my friends will be there to help.
It is not natural for fathers and mothers to bury their children. Unfortunately, because of the nature of man, those burials will continue. George Washington said, “to be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving the peace.”
The worst mistake this country can make is to think that human nature has changed. Look no further than North Korea—what’s the difference between Neville Chamberlains’ appeasement peace for our time or the failed policy of, “strategic patience” with North Korea. Staying on these courses of conciliation, concessions and placations with evil forces today will yield the same outcome that Europe had with Hitler tomorrow.
Let us not be fooled by fruitless sanctions and dependence upon our new found friends of China and Russia to make the peace. By doing so, we let our guard down. On that beautiful September morning no one woke up to the idea that day the world would change forever—we were too busy going about our business and stopping to smell the roses. It is not only our guard which must be vigilant. If securing ourselves from despots means arming our allies such as Japan in the South Pacific, then arm them; not because we want to, but because we have to.
In closing now would be a good time for Americans to put aside what divides us and come together as one nation. We have enough who hate and seek to destroy us in this world, we should not add to that burden. Abraham Lincoln said, “if destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we will live forever or die by suicide.” Our destruction described by Lincoln does not come from external forces; unfortunately, it may be Americans who are its author. We could have chosen any name when we founded our country. It is not by accident that our founding fathers named this experiment in Democracy, the United States of America. Thank you, God Bless you all and God Bless America."