By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting large public gatherings, the city will observe the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a virtual ceremony broadcast on Facebook and YouTube starting at 6 p.m. Sept. 11.
The service will honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks, including Richard S. Gabrielle, 50, of West Haven, who was killed during the attack on the twin towers in New York’s World Trade Center complex. Gabrielle, an insurance broker at Aon Corp., was last seen on the south tower’s 78th floor.
Declared Patriot Day by Congress in 2002, the city will fly flags at half-staff in recognition of the national day of remembrance.
According to organizers, the ceremony will include a prayer by Vertical Church Pastor Ken Vance, remarks by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, Police Chief Joseph S. Perno and West Haven Fire Department Chief James P. O’Brien, and a wreath-laying by police and fire officials. Louis P. Esposito Jr., Rossi’s executive assistant, will serve as the master of ceremonies.
It will also feature a flag-raising by the West Haven Fire Department Honor Guard, taps played by former West Shore Fire Department Lt. Kevin McKeon and a Celtic folk performance by Irish singer-songwriter Liz McNicholl, including the song “The Bravest,” a tribute to the heroes of 9/11, organizers said.
The virtual program will start airing at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 on the West Haven City Hall Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CityofWestHaven/ and the city’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5cM1trmHe999FXNJ56X_Jg.