By Bryan Boggiano
City staff and local first responders gathered Saturday at a socially distant wreath-laying ceremony at Tamarac City Hall, where they marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and honored the victims and their families, firefighters, EMTs, police officers, first responders, and survivors.
Tamarac followed the ceremony with “Honk for a Hero” to recognize local first responders.
The City of Tamarac uploaded a video depicting highlights from the ceremony.
Interim City Manager Kathleen Gunn, Vice Mayor Elvin Villalobos, Mayor Michelle J. Gomez, and city commissioners Marlon Bolton, Mike Gelin, and Debra Placko spoke. The ceremony also included a performance of the national anthem by Lori Conti, and a short tribute procession, where first responders unveiled and set up an American flag.
Gunn said that the country would never forget those who died on a history-changing day and those who died in the aftermath. She said the attacks should also serve as a reminder of what America is and what it represents.
“Let the fateful day always serve to remind us of who we are as Americans, of the values that we hold dearly: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Gunn said at the ceremony.
In his remarks, Villalobos thanked everybody who contributed to relief efforts, including volunteers and restaurant owners who gave food and water.
Gomez urged the city to honor and never forget the nearly 3,000 people who died that day and those since. Including military personnel, first responders, 343 firefighters, and 37 officers with the New York Police Department. She said that it is also important to remember the survivors and the families of the victims. Gomez said that as a country, it is important to remember the events and lessons from 9/11.
She also had a message for people who were born shortly before or after 9/11 and future generations.
“To the youth who were too young at the time to know what was happening, and to the ones that have been born since, it is our obligation to make sure you know what happened in our country on Sept. 11, 2001,” Gomez said. “It is your obligation to keep the memories alive, and the lessons learned never be forgotten.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.