9/11 Memorial Service at Milton

On Tuesday, the 9/11 Memorial Service was held on the front lawn of Milton High School to honor the those who lost their lives during the September 11 attacks in 2001. Senior Ben Reilly, sophomore Jimmy Reilly and their family have organized this service every year for the past three years.

The Reilly family feels privileged to be able to organize the memorial service because 9/11 is a very personal day to them. At the beginning of the service, Ben Reilly explains that their family lost their uncle, James Brian Reilly, in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Reilly says that his uncle was 25 and had just started working as a bond trader for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods when he lost his life. Although Ben and Jimmy were very young when their uncle died, Ben feels like they “carry his spirit with [them] everyday.”

Each year, to honor the victims, Milton students, police, and firefighters volunteer to put up flags in the front lawn to represent each death from the 9/11 attacks, and Milton students also read biographies of people who lost their lives. Phillip Belkeir, a junior, read the biography of Thomas Foley, who was one of the first firefighters to arrive at the World Trade Center. Foley had always wanted to become a firefighter and was recognized as “a true hero who dedicated his life to serving others” during the service. Neil Verma, a senior, read the biography of Stephen P. Lefkowitz, who lost his life while working in the World Trade Center. Lefkowitz was described as a good husband, father and “a natural big brother to everyone.”

Many officers from the Milton Fire Department and Milton Police Department also attended the memorial to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives. Deputy Chief Mark Sanders acknowledged the 345 firefighters and 60 police officers who gave their lives while helping out during the attacks by stressing the memorial’s theme, “It’s never too late to do the right thing.” Wristbands with the quote from Martin Luther King, Jr, “the time is always right to do what is right,” were passed out to highlight the theme as well. The Reilly’s chose this theme in order to present the way their uncle and the men and women, who were recognized during the memorial, lived their lives.

Ben says that the organization of the memorial was not only to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks, but to exemplify how “we can all make the world a better place by doing the right thing and treating everyone around us with kindness and respect,” just like those who risked their lives to save others on 9/11 had done.