Fort Hamilton hosts annual 9/11 commemoration ceremony
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton on Sept. 10 hosted its annual 9/11 commemoration ceremony inside the community club to honor those who died in the terrorist attacks that occurred 18 years ago.
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, 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.”
Another speaker was Jason Otaño, Army Reserves legal officer and general counsel at the New York City Council. Throughout his speech, Otaño recalled that he was on the subway to the Manhattan Bridge when the North Tower was hit and discussed his father FDNY firefighter Adolf Otaño, who served at Engine 202 in Red Hook.
“He jumped into his car and hopped on the Belt Parkway, and I can only imagine what was on his mind as he passed right here in Fort Hamilton and made his way downtown,” he said of his father. “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 saw his father the following morning. Still determined, Adolf went back to the World Trade Center.
The ceremony concluded with a 21 gun salute, the playing of “Taps” by retired Specialist Jorge Lopez, National Guard 24th Civil Support Team, and a playing of “God Bless America” by Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.
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