November 30, 2021

Three 9/11 events Wednesday

Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

Cortland City Deputy Police Chief Paul Sandy and City Community Police Officer Jesse Abbott install plaques at the 9/11 Memorial in Courthouse Park. File photo from July 2019.

There will be three area events Wednesday marking the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

The college will once again have its gathering at 7 p.m. on the steps of Corey Union. The city’s second annual event at the monument completed last year in Courthouse Park is scheduled at 8:30 a.m., featuring tributes to four people with local ties to 9/11. The village of Homer will have a ceremony at night.

The college event is expected to last 90 minutes while the city’s should last 45 minutes to an hour. State Sen. James L. Seward (R- Milford) is among those expected to attend the city ceremony.

The keynote speaker in Courthouse Park is Col. Kevin Forney of the Army National Guard, who set up the perimeter around the World Trade Center in Manhattan shortly after the attacks began. Forney grew up on Church Street in Cortland. Nick Lundberg will play the bagpipes and Kate Niver will sing the National Anthem at the Courthouse Park event.

Those to be honored in Courthouse Park are:

  • Amy King, a flight attendant on Flight 175 that hit the World Trade Center’s South Tower. A friend of King’s, Danielle Binns,attended SUNY Cortland.
  •  Kevin Bracken, a firefighter for Engine Co. 40, Ladder 35 based in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Bracken is the brother of Bill Bracken, a retire Cortland County Sheriff’s deputy.
  • George Morell, who was working in 105 floor of World Trade Center’s North Tower for Cantor Fitzgerald at the time of the attacks. He was a partner and vice president in the company’s mortgage department. His sister, brother in law and a niece and nephew, live on Lamont Circle in Cortlandville.
  • Louis Alvarez, a retired New York Police Department bomb detective who worked with Cortland County Legislator Paul Heider. Alvarez, who died of cancer two months ago, testified to help win approval for a bill
    to extend health insurance for emergency personnel sickened in connection to 9/11. His name is one of two for whom the bill is named.

“We are going to try to do this every year, honor people who have local connections,” said Jesse Abbott, the city’s community policing officer.

Homer will have a ceremony at 5:30 next to the Fire Station on South Main Street. This year’s speaker will be retired Col. Kim Walsh, who was in the Pentagon when it was attacked.