ROCKLAND — Rockland public safety crews along with city officials and several members of the public commemorated the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States and the loss of nearly 3,000 lives.

Rockland Firefighter Carl Anderson pointed out the loss of firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel who rushed to the twin towers at the World Trade Center to save lives while the buildings were ablaze.

Anderson also detailed the ordeal of staff at the Pentagon who were trapped in the building after one of the planes taken over by terrorists crashed into the building.

He said the aftermath of 9/11 was a moment of unity – for Americans and for that great reach of humanity that believes, as we believe, in tolerance of all people and respect for human dignity.

“We gather today to reaffirm those values. As President Lincoln reminded us at Gettysburg, it is the efforts of those, living and dead, who pursue a noble cause, that consecrates a place and time. The world will little note what we say in their memory, but long remember the bright cause they cared for, and what we do to carry their flame forward.

Nowhere is it set in stone that the Constitution will endure forever. It endures because it is carved in something far more enduring than stone, is in the hearts of every American.

Together, hearts strong and true, we the people keep its noble purpose and aim alive, so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from this earth,” Anderson said.

“As you all leave here today, I hope there are moments of silence and reflection on what happened 21 years ago today. We all hope and pray that the events of September 11 will never be duplicated but rest assured that if the face of evil comes again that your first responders will always be there to help you in any situation that arises. I thank all of you for coming and your support,” Anderson said.

The 9/11 memorial outside the Rockland Fire Station.

The Rev. Dave Francemont stands at attention during the 9-11 ceremony held outside the Rockland Fire Station on Sunday. Photo by Stephen Betts