The Fort Hamilton Army Base commemorated the 2,977 lives lost on 9/11 with a formal ceremony rooted in military tradition.
Captain Jason Otaño, who lived in Sheepshead Bay in September, 2001, served as the honorary speaker at the small Sept. 10 ceremony and recounted his experience that fateful day 19 years ago.
“As we arrived on the Manhattan Bridge, the train was brought to an abrupt stop,” Otaño recalled. “A few seconds later, the usual subway chatter subsided to gasps as the conductor directed our attention to the left facing window of our train car. The north tower of the world trade center has been hit — apparently by a plane.”
Otaño was joined by a bevy of local officials but no veterans, as in years past, due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Congressman Max Rose, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Councilman Justin Brannan, Assemblymembers Peter Abbate and Mathylde Frontus, Community Board 10 District Manager and former Councilman Vincent Gentile all attended the ceremony — but did not speak. The podium was reserved for Otaño and other members of the military to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks.
“I know we all reach back in our memory and remember clearly the day of this occurring,” said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Craig Martin. “It forever changed my life and I know for most of you it forever changed yours.”
Military officers from the base at the end of Bay Ridge sang the national anthem and Amazing Grace, held a 21 gun salute, played the ceremonial taps and laid wreaths for the fallen.