19 years later, Boston remembers the 9/11 terrorist attacks

BOSTON — At 8:46 a.m. on Friday, the exact moment Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center’s North Tower 19 years ago, time stood still on the front lawn of the Massachusetts State House.

That’s where Gov. Charlie Baker observed a moment of silence for the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The scars of 911 are still deeply felt in Boston, the place where two of the four hijacked planes originated.

And where, in the Public Garden, the names of more than 200 Massachusetts 911 victims are carved into granite at the 911 Memorial.

On this day, it is sacred ground, attracting Boston police officers, and people from all walks of life.

Lawrence Faison of Boston told me, “It was more than awful. It was an attack on the soul of humanity.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, and its social distancing requirements, pushed most of the 2020 Day of Remembrance online.

The Massachusetts 911 Fund’s website hosted the event and it was where the names of all of the Massachusetts 911 victims were read aloud.

And where their stories were told.

Patricia Hoban lost her brother, John Red Gale on Sept. 11.

“About 12:30PM, I received the call that my brother was on Flight 175. It was devastating. To this day, we don’t have any identified remains of my brother,” said Hoban.

And it is also here that a Gardner man, Christopher Etre, was given the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Citizen Bravery for recently rescuing a teenager from a sinking car.

Madeline Sweeney was a hero of Flight 11.

At the Public Garden, Roslindale’s Steven Fraccastoro remembered his hero, his lifelong friend, Mark Lawrence Bavis, who was on United Flight 175.

“It’s hard not to choke back tears. It just a senseless act, affected everybody,” Fraccastoro said.

From the darkness of 911, there is a call to for random acts of kindness, a way to let some light back into the world.

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