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Weston Honors First Responders at 9/11 Ceremony

WESTON, Conn. – Officer Joe Miceli's daughter hugged her mom as the family stood and listened to the words, prayers and songs at Weston's Sept. 11 ceremony Sunday.

"It's important for children to see what 9/11 means for the history of the country and how it's affecting the future," said Miceli, who was honored at the ceremony for his work during Hurricane Irene.

Volunteer firefighter John Dembishack said he was called to help people when he first decided to become a volunteer with the Weston EMS. He was in college during the attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

"It's about remembering all who were lost while trying to go in and save everybody," Dembishack said. "And all of those who were just at work that day."

Weston families lost six lives that day – Scott T. Coleman, Keith E. Coleman, Robert T. Jordan, Glenn D. Kirwin, Robert A. Lawrence Jr. and Bradley H. Vadas.

Gilbert Sanborn, civilian aide to the secretary of the army, spoke at the ceremony about three virtues relating to those first responders on Sept. 11 – courage, heroism and sacrifice.

"There is a threat to our great nation; a threat of our own creation. ... The frailty of the human condition for the desire for personal gain and consumption today without the willingness to sacrifice tomorrow," said Sanborn. "We should honor [the lives lost] by exhibiting our own sacrifice."

Pastor Diane Carter went to Ground Zero after Sept. 11 to help with the recovery efforts. At the time, she was a volunteer firefighter with the Pleasantville Fire Department.

"It wasn't, 'Should we go,' it was, 'What should we do when we get there?'" Carter said at Sunday's ceremony. "For all those I met, from literally around the country ... the question for them was not, 'Should I do this,' but just, 'How should I do this and who will cover my shift while I'm gone?'"

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein used to work on Water Street around the corner from Ground Zero. It had been about 17 years since she had visited the area that she once saw every day.

"The physical space really mimicked what we all must have gone through and felt in our hearts," Weinstein said Sunday. "The total coming down of something we thought was so strong and secure ... the crumbling and the time it takes for the rubble to settle. It's 10 years old and the space is being used again in a different way, just like our hearts. We know, yes, life will go on. But, no, it will never be the same."

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