By JOE LoTEMPLIO and KELLI CATANA, Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Charles Sanchez was in elementary school when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001.
But the Plattsburgh State Student Association president’s memories are still vivid.
Students, faculty and community members gathered Tuesday at Hawkins Hall pond on the Plattsburgh State campus to remember the victims of that attack.
Sanchez and keynote speaker Douglas Skopp, a retired distinguished professor of history and the current college historian, spoke about their memories of the day.
Sanchez remembers thousands of people walking through the streets of New York after the attack.
“We have to remember, as horrific as that was, some of that (violence) is an everyday occurrence for other people throughout the world,” he said.
“I’ll never forget that day. I remember droves of people just walking throughout Manhattan because all the transportation was down. It looked like a war zone, and it was one day.”
Not taking things for granted was a theme of Sanchez’s talk.
“I think that remembering the individuals, like our two alumni who perished in the attacks, is something that helps build us as a country and as a society, and it is, hopefully, something we can learn from.”
Congressional candidate Matt Doheny suspended all campaign advertising Tuesday to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
“There will be plenty of opportunities to exchange ideas with my opponent that do not interfere with the solemnity of this day,” he said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Doheny, a Republican from Watertown, is seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburgh in the 21st District.
“We pause today to honor the memory of the men and women lost on Sept. 11, 2001,” Doheny’s statement said.
“We pray for the families of those killed, that they find healing and peace amidst this senseless tragedy. And we thank our heroes of that day, who cast aside concerns about their own safety to ensure that others would survive.”
Doheny also said that Sept. 11 will forever serve as a reminder that the nation must be vigiliant in protecting the homeland from those who wish to do harm.
“While many of those terrorists responsible for the attacks have been captured or killed, their network of acolytes still remains intact,” he said.
“We must remain committed to strong defense that keeps our homeland safe and ensures tranquility overseas.”
LOSS AND GRIEF
Owens put out a statement marking the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
“As New Yorkers, we share a profound understanding of the loss and grief America shared on Sept. 11, 2001,” he said.
“Today, we remember the families that lost loved ones, the first-responders who answered the call to serve and the men and women of America’s armed forces who have defended our freedoms.”
Owens said the victims, families and heroes of that day are in his thoughts and prayers.
“It is my hope that, in their memory, we can continue working together, in Washington and at home, to achieve lasting peace and prosperity for years to come.”
Email Joe LoTemplio: firstname.lastname@example.org