Words and music will honor 9/11 victims in Ridgefield ceremony

A family on the walking path around the Recreation Center property pass the 9/11 monument on Friday, Sept. 4.

A family on the walking path around the Recreation Center property pass the 9/11 monument on Friday, Sept. 4.

Macklin Reid / Hearst Connecticut Media

Lives lost will be remembered.

Ridgefield’s tradition of honoring the victims of 9/11 will continue this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has made people cautious about gathering.

Chairs will be placed six feet apart on the wide field in front of the town’s 9/11 memorial on the Recreation Center property off Danbury Road.

“We’ll be setting up for social distancing, asking everyone to wear face coverings,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi told The Press.

The event is tomorrow, Friday Sept. 11, at 6:30.

The ceremony’s program offers these words about the monument where the town’s commemoration is held each year:

“This steel beam from the World Trade Center was brought here by the people of Ridgefield, initiated and shepherded by the late RPD Chief John Roche. This monument stands to honor the memory of the victims of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. It is dedicated to those who fell and those who carry on. May we never forget.”

Among the 2,977 victims of the terrorist attacks — excluding the 19 terrorists who were also killed — were 2,763 people who died as the World Trade Center’s twin towers fell.

Those victims included 343 firefighters, 23 New York City police and 37 Port Authority police officers.

The victims also included Ridgefielders, and people close Ridgefielders. Among the lives lost on 9/11 were: Tyler Ugolyn, a 1997 Ridgefield High School graduate who was working at the World Trade Center; Joseph Heller, a Ridgefielder and father of four, who worked in the towers; Robert Higley, husband and son-in-law of Ridgefielders, was another a World Trade Center worker; John Williamson, the son of a Ridgefielder and a New York City firefighter who gave his life; Christopher Blackwell, another New York firefighter who died that day, and had previously worked at Ridgefield’s firehouse as a Danbury Paramedic; and former Ridgefielders Bud and Dee Flagg and their friend Barbara Edwards, who were all on the plane that terrorists crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

The program for tomorrow’s observances in Ridgefield describe the ceremony as planned.

The Ridgefield Police Department Honor Guard and Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department Color Guard will file to start the ceremony.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi will welcome those who have turned out for the event, and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Dr. Fred Turpin, a clergy member of the United Church of Christ and a psychotherapist, will offer an Invocation.

Vocalist Evelyn Carr will sing God Bless America.

Eva Trachtenberg, winner of the Ms President US Ridgefield 2020, will share some thoughts.

Evelyn Carr will sing again — The Star Spangled Banner, the national anthem.

The Rev. Whitney Altop, pastor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, will offer the evening’s reflection.

First Selectman Marconi will invite those in attendance to lay flowers before the 9/11 monument.

Piper Tom Elliott will play Amazing Grace.

Maria-Pia Seirup, associate pastor at Jesse Lee United Methodist Church and the executive director of PeaceWork, will give a benediction.