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The Times
  • HCCC faculty, students remember 9/11

  • Nicole Todd remembered how 11 years ago, as a third-grader at St. Francis de Sales Regional Catholic Elementary School, a television was rolled into her classroom.

    “St. Francis was very strict. We were so excited. We thought we would be watching something fun,” she said. “Instead, it was something tragic. And it was happening in our country, in New York City.”

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  • Nicole Todd remembered how 11 years ago, as a third-grader at St. Francis de Sales Regional Catholic Elementary School, a television was rolled into her classroom.
    “St. Francis was very strict. We were so excited. We thought we would be watching something fun,” she said. “Instead, it was something tragic. And it was happening in our country, in New York City.”
    Todd described how she felt as she and her classmates watched the story of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks unfold throughout the day. She said what her classmates did not know at that time was her father had traveled to New York City for business that week.
    She said she remembered thinking, “Is dad coming home?”
    Todd said she eventually learned her father was safe, but he was later deployed to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy reservist, from which he also safely returned home.
    She said, however, she has heard many stories about those who did not.
    Todd is now a second-year student at Herkimer County Community College and vice president of the Student Government Association.
    “I appreciate what this country stands for ... so that we can all be free,” she said.
    Todd shared her comments during the HCCC 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on Tuesday morning.
    “Our presence today is a message,” said HCCC President Ann Marie Murray. “We are strong and united, and grateful for our first responders. And we will always remember.”
    State Sen. James Seward shared his own memories from Sept. 11, 2001, as he was about two or three blocks away from the World Trade Center when the attacks happened. Though he had many memories from the day’s events, including being covered in ash and debris, he said two things stand out in his mind.
    “Number one, was the panic and fear in the streets. It was something I have never, ever seen as an American. It’s not the America I want to live in,” he said. “And number two, were the first responders.”
    Seward, R,C,I - Oneonta, said as he was trying to get to safety, he remembered “the first responders were rushing in, with a look of determination in their eyes.”
    Seward said while there was a sense of “loss and grief” after the events, there was also a sense of “resiliency.” “Along with the outpouring of patriotism, our nation experienced a renewed sense of unity and community like never before,” he said.
    The ceremony also included The Pledge of Allegiance, led by Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner, a moment of silence and the playing of Taps by James Traglia. Kalman Socolof, HCCC professor of radio and television, and Assemblyman Marc Butler also shared remarks.The community speaker was Ilion Deputy Fire Chief Dan Trevor, who shared his own memories from that day, and the impact that it has had on the fire department, from sending their own men to New York City to assist in the recovery efforts to now, where there is constant training in the event of an attack.
    Page 2 of 2 - “From retiree to rookie, there’s a deep sense of camaraderie in the brotherhood of firefighters,” he said.
    Donald Snyder, chairman of the HCCC Board of Trustees, at the end of his remarks sang the first stanza of “God Bless America,” and was then joined by Kevin Montano, a first-year student who sang “The Star-spangled Banner” at the event. Snyder and Montano were joined by the dozens of HCCC students and community members who had gathered for the event.
    HCCC accepted donations on Tuesday of nonperishable food items to support regional food pantries, as part of the National Day of Remembrance & Service coordinated by the Genesis Group.

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