Last Friday, I, like many others, took time to commemorate the tragedy to our country on Sept. 11, 2001. I attended the ceremony in Freeport.

Speakers gave their own accounts of what this historic day means to them and how it changed their lives. The first was Pam Payeur, who organized Wounded Heroes after her son returned from Iraq severely wounded.

Gimbala Sankare, an Iraq war veteran, spoke of his experience as an eighth-grader attending school in New York City, hearing sirens blaring from all directions. He attributes his enlisting in the military to that day and spoke of how each person can and should contribute to this country.

Finally, decorated Marine Corps Maj. Adam Sacchetti recalled learning of the disaster while attending Norwich University preparing to become a commissioned officer.

He went into great detail about his combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan; while not meaning to take anything from his dedicated service, I did feel he got off topic.

Suddenly, Jamie Roux ran partway up the aisle, yelling repeatedly, “My father died on this day,” referring to James Roux, who died on United Airlines Flight 175 when it hit the South Tower. He was dragged from the ceremony and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Having spent my entire career of over 40 years advocating for and counseling veterans with readjustment-related issues, I’ve seen the conflicts people experience when they return from combat.

As a veteran myself, I have the utmost respect for those who are willing to sacrifice themselves for this country. I believe, as Jamie Roux does, that those sacrifices are memorialized on Memorial Day, and commemorating 9/11 should be about those who made the ultimate sacrifice on that day.

I would hope that the judge who presides over Jamie’s case understands his motivation and treats him with compassion.

Roy Driver

Freeport