Remembering 9/11: Victims honored, local hero recognized

BOSTON — On Sunday, Massachusetts honored those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago.

A wreath-laying ceremony took place at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at the permanent memorial located in the Boston Public Garden.  Mayor Marty Walsh laid the wreath with the family of Joseph Mathai, a Massachusetts resident killed in the 9/11 attacks.


>> WATCH BELOW: Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at the wreath-laying ceremony

>> WATCH BELOW: Mayor Marty Walsh, Mathai family lay the wreath

The annual name-reading ceremony of the more than 200 people with Massachusetts connections who died in the attacks was moved indoors to the House Chamber due to forecasts of rainy weather. The ceremony typically takes place on the Statehouse lawn.

Among the names of the local victims read, messages to loved ones.

"My lovely son, Matthew Carmen Sellitto, your mother and I miss you dearly, and may god hold you in the palm of his hand until we meet again," Sellitto's father.

Gove. Charlie Baker was emotional as he watched sons and daughters who've grown up without their parents.

'You think about all those people whose moms and dads didn't get to watch their kids grow up," he said.

>> WATCH BELOW: Names of 9/11 victims with Massachusetts ties read at the State House

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WATCH LIVE: The names of those with Massachusetts connections killed in the 9/11 attacks being read at the Statehouse.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Sunday, September 11, 2016

For Leslie Blair, the annual memorials are cathartic, but the memories of her 35-year-old sister, Susan Blair, who was in the South Tower that fateful day, are difficult to relive.

"To hear her name again, I always tear up as I'm doing now, I miss her dearly, it never really gets any easier," said Blair.

There was also the awarding of the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery. The award was presented to Rosemary Heath, the wife of George Heath. George Heath was a New Bedford teacher killed in a stabbing rampage back in May. George tackled the stabbing suspect before he was killed; officials called George a hero.

“When faced with the horror of an armed attacker, George Heath did not hesitate for an instant to act decisively to defend the safety of those around him,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “George Heath showed the same type of character and resolve that defined the heroes of 9/11 and it is our privilege to honor his sacrifice on this solemn anniversary.”

Sweeney, an Acton resident, was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, the first of two planes hijacked from Boston. She is credited with discreetly contacting authorities and providing key information about the hijackers.

>> WATCH BELOW: Awarding of the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery

oFOX25 Live Stream

LIVE AT THE STATE HOUSE: Presentation of the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Sunday, September 11, 2016