Lou Pabon, who was a construction worker at ground zero for six months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said the tragedy and the bravery of that time must never be forgotten.
“But people do forget. So we must carry the torch,” Pabon said.
Communities and organizations across the region are conducting commemorative programs today, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Pabon, 60, of Johnstown, is a student at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. His sons, Louis Jr. and Cory Anthony, are also students at the community college.
He will present a remembrance program, with numerous photos he took from Sept. 13, 2001, through March 2002, at 7 tonight in the college theater, state Route 67 in Johnstown.
“We have to keep the memory alive,” Pabon said.
He had a “life-changing” experience while working near ground zero, directing trucks to an area where they were loaded with World Trade Center debris.
He learned that an older man who came to ground zero almost every day had lost his two sons — one a city firefighter and the other a city police officer — on Sept. 11.
“That really hit me hard because I have two sons,” Pabon said. He got to know the older man, who actually comforted Pabon in his grief when Pabon broke into tears after hearing of the older man’s loss.
“I haven’t forgotten it. I experienced it,” Pabon said.
As a way of honoring those who died in the attacks and the rescue efforts 11 years ago, Pabon raises money to help homeless veterans.
At the New York State Museum on Madison Avenue in Albany, approximately 75 members and retirees of New York City Fire Department’s Engine No. 6 fire company and their families will assemble in the state museum’s World Trade Center exhibit hall at 8:46 a.m. They will observe six minutes of silence in sync with ceremonies in Manhattan at ground zero, which will be broadcast live inside the gallery.
The firefighters will stand in formation in front of the heavily damaged Engine No. 6 pumper truck, which is the centerpiece of the museum exhibit: “World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response.”
u At 1 p.m. at the Albany County Courthouse at 16 Eagle St., Courtroom No. 373, the New York State Unified Court System will hold a tribute to heroic court officers who died during rescue efforts at the World Trade Center. The deceased court officers include Capt. William Harry Thompson, Sgt. Thomas Jurgens and Sgt. Mitchel Wallace.
u In Glenville, the Water’s Edge Lighthouse Restaurant and Inn at 2 Freemans Bridge Road will host its sixth annual “We Will Never Forget” 9/11 memorial ceremony at 5 p.m. The ceremony will take place around a memorial constructed in 2006 from a steel girder salvaged from the World Trade Center and transported to Schenectady County courtesy of Price Chopper Supermarkets.
u In Niskayuna, first responders and town officials will gather at the Town Hall flagpole at 8:30 a.m. for a remembrance ceremony.
Members of the town’s fire and police departments and ambulance service will be on hand, along with local clergy.
Firefighters will ring a bell in memory of those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The town has held a similar ceremony each year since the attacks.
Niskayuna Fire District 1 Chief Dale Lingenfelter said it is important to remember those lost and the dangers that are still present.
“It also reminds us, too, that the threats that existed that day are still present and we still need to be diligent,” Lingenfelter said.
u In Stillwater, the annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. at the Blockhouse on Route 4 in the village of Stillwater. The program is being organized by Linda Sanders, the town of Stillwater’s deputy town historian.
u In Schenectady at 8:45 a.m. at Schenectady County Community College, there will be a remembrance gathering at the flagpole in the college quad near Elston Hall. It will be followed by a 9 a.m. screening of the documentary “8:46” in Elston Hall, Room 334.