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Conn. Holds Annual 9/11 Memorial On Sherwood Island

Davis Dunavin

More than a hundred people gathered at a pavilion in Sherwood Island State Park in Westport Thursday night for a reading of the names of 161 Connecticut residents who died that day.

After the ceremony, they walked from the pavilion to the state’s 9/11 memorial, where those 161 names are set on granite tiles in a grassy area overlooking Long Island Sound.

One by one, people laid white roses at the front of the memorial. Then some walked further. They found tiles with specific names, and laid white roses on those tiles, too.

Sari Weatherwax of Wilton put roses on two tiles. Then she knelt to the ground and she kisses the tiles. She’s been here every year since 2002, when this memorial opened. She was a flight attendant for United Airlines. United flights 175 and 93 were two of the four planes hijacked on 9/11.

“I lost 16 of my flying partners and best buds aboard United 175 and 93," she said. "People I flew with for years and years and years.”

She said for people who lost loved ones that day, this memorial is perfect. Even on a day like today, when the sky is full of dark rainclouds.

“We like it because it is so simple. It’s not gaudy. It’s not huge. It is so simple. That’s important," she said. "It doesn’t matter if it’s a gloomy day. Usually it’s a gorgeous day here, but it doesn’t matter. The sky is grey, all of the so-called headstones are grey, the memorial is grey. Green grass, roses. You don’t need anything else.”

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
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