Family members, officials and others placed white roses at the Sept. 11 memorial.
Family members, officials and others placed white roses at the Sept. 11 memorial. / Photos by Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — People gathered Thursday afternoon at Sherwood Island State Park for a solemn remembrance of those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

It’s the 22nd time family, friends and officials have gathered to remember the 164 people with ties to Connecticut.

Sherwood Island is the site of the state’s 9/11 memorial. People gathered there the day of the attacks because the smoking New York City skyline, some 50 miles to the southwest, could be viewed from the shore.

Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police Officer Alexandra Blackwell helps read the names of those lost, including her father, Christopher J. Blackwell, an FDNY firefighter.
Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police Officer Alexandra Blackwell helps read the names of those lost, including her father, Christopher J. Blackwell, an FDNY firefighter.
Gov. Ned Lamont.
Rabbi Michael Friedman of Temple Israel.
Rabbi Michael Friedman of Temple Israel.

“Dear God, we are grateful for this annual, late summer ritual,” Rabbi Micheal Friedman of Temple Israel said in the opening prayer.

“That’s exactly what this gathering has become for so many of us. A ritual in the very best sense of the word, something that gives our life shape, and depth,” he said. “And meaning, and purpose. A ritual allows to note the passage of time. It allows to recall the memories of those we love.”

“And so, God we ask your blessing upon this beautiful gathering this year, and every year. May this ritual continue long into the future. Bless us today God with the gift of memory help us bring close the remembrances, the stories, the love of those that we have lost. Help us remember those who serve and defend our nation,” Friedman continued. “And dear God, spread your shelter of peace over us, even in only for the next few minutes, as we gather to reflect, and remember. We thank you God for your shelter of peace, Amen.”

Jean Coleman, whose sons Keith Eugene Coleman and Scott Thomas Coleman, died at the World Trade Center, helps read the names.
Jean Coleman, whose sons Keith Eugene Coleman and Scott Thomas Coleman, died at the World Trade Center, helps read the names.

There were remarks from Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Brad Bullis, brother of Dianne Bullis Snyder. Relatives read the 164 names of Connecticut people lost in the terror attacks. A bugler blew taps, and many of the attendees then crossed a lawn between the pavilion and the 9/11 memorial, where they laid white roses on the monuments.

Jonathan Worley of VFW Post 79 in Madison blows taps.
Jonathan Worley of VFW Post 79 in Madison blows taps.