Maine communities commemorate 20 years after Sept. 11 attacks
Mainers echo leaders’ calls for unity amid another national crisis
FREEPORT, Maine (WMTW) - All across the state, Maine communities took the time to remember the impact of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, 20 years later.
In Freeport, the town’s Fire and Rescue Company, Police Color Guard joined American Legion Post 83 at the local 9/11 memorial.
The memorial is constructed of debris recovered from the twin towers, and was decorated today with flowers and ribbons by community members and local Boy and Girl Scout troops for the ceremony.
The Greater Freeport Community Chorus performed the national anthem following Taps and a 7-gun salute.
WMTW spoke to Freeport’s former fire chief, who recalled what it was like to serve as a first responder at the time of the attack.
“We united as a country then,” retired fire Chief Darrel Fournier said.
“We were together side by side with each other. We need to come back, and bring this country back together in remembrance of the people who gave it all back 20 years ago.”
Giving back is also something Freeport’s famous flag ladies are familiar with.
On Saturday, Elaine Greene and Carmen Footer came out of retirement to wave their American flags on Main Street.
They are two of the three original flag ladies, usually joined by Joann Miller every Tuesday, in all weather, to wave flags in solidarity with those impacted by the 9/11 attacks.
“We needed to come back out — our country is hurting,” said Elaine Greene.
“It’s a sad day in remembrance, but it’s a great day when you see the hearts of your fellow Americans out here.”
The flag ladies retired in 2019, but before then they organized visits to Bangor International Airport, where troops moved through on their way to and from deployments in the Middle East.
They would also send packages to troops on deployment or families of military personnel in need, and of course, waved their flags every Tuesday on Main Street in Freeport.
Meanwhile, in Topsham Saturday morning, city officials held their own ceremony, reading the names of every victim of the World Trade Center attacks.
It took about three hours and included a benediction from a local pastor, and a speech from a paramedic and firefighter, who was working for the FDNY when the Towers came down.
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