Sept. 11 - How far have we come in 12 years?

Simplistic was the word of the day at Wilton Fire Department as friends and honored guests gathered with firefighters, police officers and ambulance corps volunteers to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

“It is traditional for us,” Deputy Fire Chief Mark Amatrudo said. “It’s the 12th time we’ve gathered to remember and make sure that we never forget those we lost.”

Speakers in the brief ceremony included Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan, Deputy Police Chief Robert Crosby, and retired fire Captain Karl Dolnier.

“In the past, I spoke about this being a ceremony for the first responders,” Mr. Dolnier said. “We praised and discussed those who went first. This year, I switched things up and talked about the military and the effects of the aftermath of 9/11.”

The days after the Sept. 11 attacks were filled with great patriotism, Mr. Dolnier said. Those emotions have changed as time has moved on.

“Public sentiment has waned,” he said. “Since 9/11, through action in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have lost over 6,000 servicemen, while 10,000 have been injured.”

He asked those in attendance to support various agencies and charities, such as the USO and the Wounded Warrior project, while highlighting other post-9/11 effects, such as heightened airport security and the Patriot Act.

“No matter how you feel on issues, it’s our duty to be informed citizens. Bring us back to where we were just before 9/11,” he said.

To the side of the podium outside the firehouse where the ceremony was held, an American flag hung at half staff in the humid air. At the base of the flagpole is the memorial to acknowledge the Wiltonians who died at the World Trade Center: Edwin Fergus, Peter C. Fry, John Henwood, John Iskyan, and Edward P. York.

Guests also described the gathering as very basic, keeping in line with wanting to remember in a simple way those lost.