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New Canaan Remembers Call To Duty On Sept. 11

An attendee at the New Canaan 9/11 ceremony pauses to remember. About 80 people gathered in front of police headquarters for the event that began at 9:59 a.m., the same time the first tower collapsed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Attendees pause to remember during the 9/11 memorial ceremony in New Canaan. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
New Canaan Police Capt. Vincent DiMaio, salutes during the New Canaan 9/11 ceremony. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The New Canaan Police Honor Guard marches at the 9/11 ceremony Thursday morning. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Attendees at the New Canaan 9/11 memorial ceremony in front of the police station. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Bagpiper Stephanie Moore of the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps plays "Amazing Grace." Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
New Canaan Fire Chief Jack Hennessey speaks during the 9/11 ceremony in New Canaan. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Diane Wells, right, regent of the Hannah Benedict Carter chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presents a flag to New Canaan first responders. Each part of the flag represents the three areas involved in the 9/11 attacks. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Wendy Humboldt, captain of the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps, holds a book of 9/11 memories compiled by corps members. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
A ceremonial wreath is placed during the New Canaan 9/11 ceremony. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- In a gathering Thursday to remember the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the head of the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps said all members were summoned to headquarters on that fateful morning and everyone was eager to do their duty.

"There was no hesitation from our members," said Kelly Daniel, president of the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

About 80 people came together in front of police headquarters for the New Canaan ceremony that began at 9:59 a.m. That time marked when the first building at the World Trade Center collapsed.

Some members went to New York City to offer whatever assistance they could while others remained behind to provide emergency services in New Canaan.

The attack came out of nowhere on a beautiful morning, forever altering life, Daniel said.

"It was when no one was expecting it. We were all living our lives and starting our days," she said.

Nancy Upton, an EMT with the ambulance corps, said the day acts as a reminder of the first responders who gave their lives as they rushed to help others at the World Trade Center.

"It's the dedication that people made in their profession to help others and the ultimate sacrifice," she said.

Diane Wells, regent of the Hannah Benedict Carter chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, presented a flag symbolizing the three places where jets commandeered by terrorists crashed: New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and Shanksville, Pa., where passengers fought back against the terrorists.

Three New Canaan residents lost their lives in the attacks.

  • Joseph Coppo, 47, died in the World Trade Center, where he worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. He left behind his wife and four children.
  • Eamon McEneaney, 46, died at the World Trade Center, where he was a senior vice president for Cantor Fitzgerald. He left behind his wife and four children.
  • Bradley Fetchet, 24, who was raised in New Canaan, died at the World Trade Center, where he was an equities trader for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

New Canaan Police Capt. Vincent DiMaio said it's important that the ceremonies continue to be held on Sept. 11.

"We need to have ceremonies to remind us because human nature you tend to forget and it is a very dangerous time in the world right now," he said about continuing conflict.

The Rev. Ralph Segura, pastor of St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Parish, said the benediction at the event.

Wendy Humboldt, captain of the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps, was one of the 14 corps members who went to New York City to help on 9/11. She said the events are still close to the surface.

"It's a painful day, but a poignant day," she said. "I won't stop on Sept. 11 because I want to devote my day to remembering our brothers and sisters that we lost."

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