Dunkirk holds 9/11 ceremony

We remember

OBSERVER Photo by Mary Heyl Dozens of people gathered for the annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Dunkirk Fire Headquarters on Eagle Street on Tuesday morning. The ceremony included the ceremonial ringing of the bell by I.A.F.F. 616 President Jim Muscato, remarks from Mayor Wilfred Rosas and a blessing by Monsignor Albert Clody.

“9/11 is nowhere near over,” said Monsignor Albert Clody, who spoke at the beginning of the Dunkirk Fire Department/Dunkirk Professional Firefighters Local 616 annual Sept. 11 ceremony.

The retired former chaplain for the city of Buffalo Fire Department spoke of the many, many lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as those rescue workers who continue to suffer the health effects from that day and the many days that followed. “But because of their bravery and inspiration…we are challenged to move on,” Clody continued. After reading a passage from the Bible’s book of Revelation, Msgr. Clody offered a blessing for the rescue workers who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11 and “those currently standing guard,” as he gestured to the many fire department members in attendance.

Captain Gary Katta, who organized the ceremony, invited Mayor Wilfred Rosas to share his experience from Sept. 11. “I’ll never be the same person as I was before 9/11,” Rosas began. He went on to describe his experience on 9/11, when he was a New York State Trooper sent to the scene of the tragedy. “I worked on a detail with 12 others I didn’t know. There were fire departments from all over the state working together…we all had one purpose: to make people feel safe again.”

Following the mayor’s remarks, Katta introduced Jim Muscato, union president of I.A.F.F. Local 616, to ring the ceremonial bell. Taps was played by Dunkirk High School students Josh Frazita and Doug Worosz. Chief Michael Edwards thanked Katta for his work in organizing the ceremony, and asked all to focus on the theme of remembrance for all the lives lost on Sept. 11. Katta introduced Dunkirk High School student Makayla Pasierb, who sang the national anthem.

“Firefighting is not for everyone,” Katta said, in his closing remarks. “It’s a calling; it’s a brotherhood and a family. Anyone who does this job understands the loyalty to the job and each other. Today, 17 years later, I continue to be inspired by the acts of our brothers. I embrace the awareness of our profession, as well as the changes to our profession that their acts on that day have inspired. We are truly blessed to have the honor to call them brothers. Now to my brother firefighters, I’d like to say: Never forget our fallen brothers. Continue to be inspired by their acts. Stay vigilant and safe. Be proud of our profession and protect your brothers.”

Katta concluded by thanking everyone for attending, especially given the rainy weather. “Be thankful for our military, police, fire and other emergency service workers, and enjoy your freedom,” Katta stated. “May God bless America.”