OWEGO N.Y -At the Town of Owego 9/11 Memorial in Hickories Park, first responders paid solemn homage to the victims of the September 11th attacks with a ceremony steeped in reverence and remembrance.
Among the speakers was New York State Police Zone Sergeant Martin Kopcho who was part of a State Police detail who assisted at Ground Zero in Manhattan several weeks after the attacks.
He recalled the dust and the smoke that still hung in the air at the site, and the determination of workers to recover the remains of victims.
“It’s important for these stories, like mine, to be told to children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and shared with families so that we don’t forget what tragedy happened that day,” says Kopcho.
In addition to steel beams from the Twin Towers, the Town of Owego Memorial features a granite bench dedicated to the memory of Apalachin native Derek Statkevicus.
He worked on the 86th floor of the South Tower and was killed during the September 11th attacks, leaving behind a wife and a son and another son who was born four months after his death.