MILFORD – The names Michael Miller, Avnish Patel and Seth Morris were recited by Milford Mayor Ben Blake, as Fire Chief Douglas Edo rang a bell for each, when the city Friday recalled its fallen residents from the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers with a virtual Remembrance Ceremony.
“There are moments in time that are going to be forever etched into our total recall, Sept. 11, 2001 is one of those moments where we always precisely, and without distortion, remember where we were, who we were with and what emotions we felt,” said Blake, who was home with his family watching on television. “Every Sept 11 we gather to pay our respects to those that we lost.”
Miller, 39, graduated from Joseph A. Foran High in 1980, where he was named best athlete after lettering in football, basketball and track. He was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald.
Patel, 28, a research analyst focusing on health care companies for Fred Alger Management, was 13 when he left his family in London and joined relatives in Milford. He attended Live Oaks Elementary School and Foran before moving to New York.
Morris, 35, who attended Mathewson Elementary School, was considered a hero in the earlier 1993 World Trade Center terrorist attack for carrying a pregnant woman more than 90 floors to safety. Morris was a managing director for Cantor Fitzgerald, an investment company with offices in Tower One.
The remembrance event, which can be found on Facebook and YouTube, was hosted by Blake; Edo, and Police Chief Keith Mello. state Sen. James Maroney, state Reps. Charles Ferraro, and Kathy Kennedy each spoke.
“It is important to remember that day so that we don’t allow it happen again, that we don’t allow hatred to win,” Maroney said. “It is also important to remember the aftermath of that day and how we came together as a country. I think it really proved our motto of E pluribus unum – ‘Out of many, one.’”
Pointing out that each generation has touchstone dates, Maroney added, “Sometimes in explaining difficult things to children it is hard to find a reason why something happens. I think it was Mr. (Fred) Roberts’ mother who said: ‘In great times of evil, look for the helpers.’”
“That is one thing you have heard: those helpers on Sept. 11. To the fireman and policemen who rushed in and gave their lives, and to all the people who later joined the military, we thank them.”
Ferraro said: “The town of Milford, like many other towns, did not escape the tragedy of the attacks. Milford lost three of its favorite sons on that day. The lives of 2,977 people were prematurely extinguished on that ill-fated day, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 from the Port Authority.
“The anniversary of 9/11 should provide us with moments to reflect on the unifying effect that day had on the United States of America,” Ferraro said. “Millions donated blood; thousands enlisted in the military. In the end it brought out the best in us.”
Kennedy said: “We want to forget, but we can’t, we shouldn’t, and we won’t. These men drew from their early years in the Milford public school system and each went on to become men who achieved great things.”
Kennedy honored another of Milford’s best who died serving in the Marines five years after 9/11.
“Foran High graduate and Marine Corporal Jordan Pierson gave the ultimate sacrifice when he was defending our freedom and was killed during combat in Fallujah, Iraq on Aug. 25, 2006,” she said. “Jordan was just 21 years old. That’s why I remember Sept. 11, 2001 every year.”
Kennedy shared a poem written by Patel:
Time won’t wait for you,
If you’ve all waited to do what you think is right
You have waited too long.
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