Jay Chase and Anthony Massarelli salute as Jesse Raymond raises the American flag at a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Old Orchard Beach Friday evening.

Jay Chase and Anthony Massarelli salute as Jesse Raymond raises the American flag at a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Old Orchard Beach Friday evening.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — It’s been 14 years since the tragic day when terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 3,000 Americans.

In a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park Friday night, about 25 people, including a few local police officers, gathered to remember those who died or were injured as a result on the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

Still others in the park took a break from what they were doing for a few moments as a recording of The Star Spangled Banner began the service.

Anthony Massarelli led the ceremony, recounting the events of that day 14 years ago, and asked those in attendance not only to remember Sept. 11, 2001, but to also remember the fallen soldiers who were killed since the war on terror began, as well as the first responders locally and across the country who put their lives on the line each and every day to keep us safe.

“Saying thank you is not enough,” Massarelli told the police officers in attendance, to reflect how grateful the town is for their service,

“We appreciate your service and your sacrifice,” he said.

President Barack Obama proclaimed Friday as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, and ordered the United States flag to be flown at half-staff in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Likewise, Governor Paul LePage directed the State of Maine flags be flown at half-staff.

In a prepared statement, LePage said, it is important to set aside a day of observance to recognize the sacrifices of those who were injured or killed as a result of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Maine salutes these heroes, their families, our nation’s first responders, and the dedication of our veterans and current military members,” he said. “The freedom that we Americans enjoy is so rare for the rest of the world, and it is constantly under threat; we must not abandon it. We must never forget. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones on this very tragic day.”

U.S. Senator Angus King said in a prepared statement that although Americans will always remember Sept. 11 with sorrow in their hearts, it is with great pride that we remember the “strength of spirit” that defined our nation that day and brought people together in the days that followed.

“Indeed, in our darkest hour, the character and resiliency of the American people shone brightest, and fourteen years later, it’s the same irrepressible character and resiliency that continue to bind us together, and undoubtedly, will forever drive us forward,” he said.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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