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Emergency Responders carry on tradition of remembering Sept. 11

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WADDINGTON — Emergency responders from Waddington and Madrid gathered in Island View Park Wednesday to march in remembrance of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Waddington started the tradition the year after the attacks, and are joined annually by members of the Madrid Rescue Squad, and members of the American Legion and Auxiliary in their half-mile march from the park to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

“It’s something we want to be able to continue doing for many more years to come,” Waddington Fire Chief Matthew G. Mayette said.

Church leaders, The Rev. Msgr. Harry K. Snow and the Rev. Arthur S. Garno, deacon vicar, led prayers for fallen heroes, victims and their families.

St. Lawrence County American Legion Adjutant John D. McCullough lives in Oswegatchie, but has attended the ceremony every year in Waddington since 2007.

“It’s one of the only services around, including Clarkson’s,” Mr. McCullough said.

Mr. McCullough was serving as sergeant major at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, just a few miles away, when he saw clouds of smoke and ash from the World Trade Center.

“Several of us saw the second plane hit from site-seeing telescopes,” Mr. McCullough said.

But Mr. McCullough said he didn’t have time to react.

He and the rest of the base had to go on lock down duty for the next 72 hours.

“After my initial reaction of oh my god, we had to immediately get on guard duty,” Mr. McCullough said. “There was no time to panic or call home, since most of the phones were down.”

Mr. McCullough said he will never forget what he saw that day and will continue to come to the ceremonies.

“We have to remember what’s past or it’s our future,” he said. “We have to also have to honor our fire department and emergency volunteers. We live in a small community, but we need to show our support.”

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