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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:09:11 06:44:23

PHOTO/PAT FARNELLI Veteran Bud Wilcox plays “Taps” at the conclusion of Monday’s service.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:09:11 06:17:14

A fire truck ladder salute provides a backdrop as people arrive Monday.

A Montrose High School graduate who was working at the Pentagon during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks expressed his memories of that fateful day 16 years ago on Monday at the Danny Chrisman Memorial Park in South Montrose.

Chrisman’s mother Debbie listened to the remarks and musical tributes, as her ongoing efforts to maintain the memories of her son, who died that day in the World Trade Center, and others who also perished that day.

Navy Commander Jamie Burts, who went on to Rensaleer Polytechnical Institute, was asked to recount his memories of 16 years ago.

Burts said that Tuesday, started as any other day.

He and 14 other interns went to work, and after the leaders left for morning meetings, he was planning to meet his friends. As he headed through the Navy command center, he looked at a TV screen and saw the live TV footage of the first plane hitting one of the towers of the World Trade Center via CNN.

My friends were in the other part of the building when the impact happened. There was no building-wide announcement, we heard about it through word of mouth. A Marine Staff Sergeant rushed in and said that we all had to exit. None of our cell phones worked. We didn’t know that on the other side of the building, our friends were struggling for their lives.”

Burts said that he reported for work the next morning to a building that was still burning, with smoke in the corridors.

He named five friends that had been killed in the crash and destruction and several that had been injured and hospitalized.

“Now, we pause to reflect and remember. We promised after September 11 to never forget.

More than remembering those we lost, we must remember what it is to be American. To overcome divisiveness, to come together as a community.”

Pastor Bob Kadlecik of the Bridgewater Church prayed, in benediction, “16 years ago, 19 men killed all those people because they thought it was the right thing to do. Help us to resolve to change the future of one life, one love at a time. Help us to love one another. Help us to be kind to those who disagree with us politically and religiously.”