WHITESBORO — At a somber Friday morning event hosted by The Genesis Group at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro, the 20th Anniversary 9/11 Prayer Breakfast memorialized the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and honor those impacted by the tragic events.
The event was an opportunity to come together to honor and remember those in law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency responders and the military.
This year’s guest speaker was Roger L. Parrino Sr., director of preparedness, intelligence and inspections for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
At the time of the terrorist attacks, Parrino was a detective with the New York City Police Department, and on Friday he recounted his memories of that morning beginning with the minutes just after the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.
His recount spanned from dropping his children off at school, to the chaotic search and rescue efforts getting underway after plane impacts.
Parrino remembered police and fire officials working at the scene simultaneously trying to rescue and investigate what was happening all while in a fluid situation.
“We did what we had to do,” he said.
9/11 remembrance statewide
Among broader statewide remembrance efforts on Friday, Gov. Kathy Hochul recognized 3,723 recipients of the New York State World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, “who have pursued their higher education goals over the past 20 years, in honor of their loved ones who died or suffered permanent injury as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks,” according to a statement.
Created in 2001, the scholarship has awarded more than $176 million dollars in financial aid to support the college costs of permanently disabled survivors as well as the spouses, children, and financial dependents of 9/11 victims.
“The victims of 9/11 will never be forgotten, and a college education is one of the most meaningful ways to provide those who suffered the loss of loved ones with an enduring gift,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “Our state cares deeply about the innocent lives lost during the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001 and it is with great honor that we offer the WTC Memorial Scholarship as one means of preserving their legacy.”
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “As Sept. 11 draws near and we reflect on the immense tragedy and loss suffered by so many, I am moved by the courage of the thousands of World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship awardees. On a day when it seemed that time stood still, families of survivors persevered over the last two decades to succeed in life while never forgetting those lost. SUNY is honored to be a part of this program and proud to provide opportunity and access for so many tenacious and resilient students pursuing their academic dreams.”