BELFAST – Tuesday morning’s torrential downpour didn’t stop a group from Belfast from remembering the terrorist attacks of 17 years ago that changed the U.S. forever.
“I had a cousin, Thomas Pecorelli, that was on the second plane that went into tower,” said Carmine Pecorelli, a veteran of three wars who lives in Belfast, and walked in the 9-11 Memorial Walk. “He was a reporter for Fox News and he was going home to his family in California for a two week vacation. And so, that has impacted … I don’t think there is an American around that that event didn’t impact. It impacted the whole country.”
That is why every Sept. 11th folks in Belfast gather at the Veterans Memorial Bridge carrying flags for the 9-11 Memorial Walk. They listen to a prayer, then taps is played for the thousands of fallen – those who died in the four plane crashes and those who rushed in to help them – and then the group walks across the span, led by the local Lions Club.
“It’s to gather as a community to always remember, never forget,” said Anthony Kimbel, Belfast VFW No. 3108 post commander. “It’s a day where we’re not Democrats or Republicans – we’re Americans. We always remember and we want to never forget what happened 17 years ago.”
“I marched today because the bottom line is these people lost their lives and their families had to go through it,” said Leslie Holland, VFW No. 3108 auxiliary Sergeant at Arms.
“This is just our way of honoring those folks who were killed that day and honoring our country,” said Sheriff Jeff Trafton, of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office. “And after 9-11 there was unprecedented patriotism that really made me feel good as a veteran. So I think this is part of that, us remembering that.”
Even Pecoretti, who still tears up remembering the loved one he lost on Sept. 11, 2001, remembers the country’s unity.
“The people bonded together,” he said. “Everybody was a class of one. Same religion. Same color. It unified us.”