NEW YORK MILLS — For Elaine Montrose, a 9/11 memorial project in her village is a constant reminder to "never forget."
The Main Street parklike monument has a special meaning for her because she spearheaded its construction. Community involvement spurred the memorial project, the design coming from a community- wide contest.
Now, 9-foot-tall pillars depicting the Twin Towers of the former World Trade Center rise from the memorial’s Pentagon-shaped base, which is home to a piece of steel from the trade center and granite from the Pentagon. It was dedicated in 2007.
She remembers that after seeing the devastation of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, she felt something had to be done.
"It was so awful," Montrose said Thursday. "No one believed (at the time) that someone could do that."
New York Mills is one of a number of communities conducting observances this weekend, including Dolgeville, Frankfort, Mohawk, Newport, Oneida, Rome, Sherrill, Utica, West Winfield and Whitesboro.
With the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New York Mills is gearing up for a traditional observance this week. The 9/11 Memorial Ceremony will take place Sunday. The lineup starts at 5:40 p.m. at the fire house. There will be a 6 p.m. silent march to Main Street, proceeding to the memorial, near the post office. Those who wish, may carry the large American flag to the memorial, whose fountain has been repaired recently.
It is a silent observance.
"No one speaks because it’s not about them," Montrose said. "(It’s) in memory of those who gave their lives."
"It was a devastating time for this country," said village Mayor John Bialek, "We’ve carried on remembering that dark day in history."
Bialek points to New York Mills tradition of getting the entire community involved. Even students carry flags in the march.
"It’s exceptional," Bialek said.