Fort Hamilton hosts annual 9/11 commemoration

September 11, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Fort Hamilton hosts annual 9/11 commemoration
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The U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton observed the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a ceremony in its community club on Sept. 10.

The event was held with limited personnel due to COVID-19, but many joined virtually on Facebook Live.

“For so very many, this is the day of remembrance,” said Col. Craig Martin, Fort Hamilton garrison commander. “For service members, first responders, family members and friends, I know we all can reach back in our memory and remember clearly the day that this occurred. It forever changed my life, and I know, for most of you, it forever changed yours.”

Col. Craig Martin

Jason Otaño, an Army Reserves legal officer and general counsel to the New York City Council, recalled that he was on a train on the Manhattan Bridge when the North Tower of the World Trade Center was hit. He also spoke about his father, Firefighter Adolf Otaño, who served at Engine 202 in Red Hook.

"He jumped into his car and hopped on the Belt Parkway,” said Otaño of his father, “and I can only imagine what was on his mind as he passed right here in Fort Hamilton and made his way downtown. He sped to his firehouse in Red Hook, the home of Engine 202 and Ladder 101. The firehouse by then was empty, but he grabbed the keys to the spare utility truck, packed up his spare tools, and made his way to the World Trade Center. By the time he arrived at the scene, both towers were down and seven members from his firehouse were lost in the rubble.”

Jason Otaño, Army Reserves legal officer and general counsel to the New York City Council.

The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute, the playing of "Taps" by retired Specialist Jorge Lopez, National Guard 24th Civil Support Team, and the playing of "God Bless America" by Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.

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