“Each of you remembers where you were,” Veterans Agent Ed Mitchell said of Sept. 11, 2001. “We must remain committed,” he said, to the men and women of the armed forces who have waged the war against terrorism.
Lt. Scott Nussbaum read the firefighter’s prayer, while Officer Brian Faye offered the police officer’s prayer. In a strong, clear, resonant voice, Kyle McAdam, a North Andover High School senior, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Andover remembered the victims of 9/11 in a ceremony in front of Town Offices.
There was a floral tribute to local victims, Christopher Morrison, Millie Naiman, Betty Ong and Len Taylor. The program honored the courageous “Citizen Soldier” in the National Guard and Reserves who answered the call in the Global War on Terror to keep Americans safe in a post-9/11 world.
One of Andover’s own Citizen Soldiers — U.S. Army Reserves SFC John Nicholas, a well-decorated and near 30-year veteran of armed service — called for attendees to honor those who serve today by never forgetting the attacks that may have spurred their enlistment.
“When a reservist or National Guardsman deploys, home and work life is disrupted. Family members go from being civilians to being military dependents,” Nicholas said. “To put that into perspective, the sacrifice families of citizen soldiers make, during my deployments, I’ve missed over 100 little league games, over 50 junior high school football games, 30 birthdays, over 20 holidays, five wedding anniversaries, and I have yet to make it to a graduation for one of my children.”
During his remarks, Nicholas named two soldiers he knew in his career who died while serving, lives cut short while answering the call in the Global War on Terror that responded to the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Many ways, it was easier on me being deployed than it was on my family,” Nicholas said. “For those people I’ve mentioned here today, and for the thousands serving worldwide right now to keep us safe, that’s why we must remember the events and sacrifice of Sept. 11.”
Staff reporters Jill Harmacinski, Yadira Betances, Dustin Luca, Paul Tennant and Doug Moser contributed to this report.