(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — In Monroe County, residents, firemen, EMTs, and police gathered at the 9/11 memorial at a Pocono Country Place in Coolbaugh Township.
Many of the residents who live in the community have ties to New York City. They shared stories of both terror and hope. Photojournalist Tom Gregory has their story.
“Too many people have forgotten and that’s one big thing. You can’t forget because it will happen again if we forget and just get lazy about it. 14 members of my police unit perished in those buildings. I retired 7 years before 9/11 from the police department.” said Michael Coogan, retired NYPD.
“I think this is the reason why we’re here today to say thank you to all the first responders for what they do,” said Kurt Cummings, public safety chief of A Pocono Country Place.
“I’m also here to support the firemen. They lost 343 firemen and I believe it was 28 Port Authority cops,” noted Coogan.
“We were upset!” said Cummings “I was in Coney Island, my mom’s house. I remember being stuck in the subway, trains not coming, phones stop working and could not figure out what was going on.”
“Later on that afternoon I’m sitting down there paying attention to what’s going on, I saw ashes falling in Coney Island. Pretty much like a black snow!” Cumming added.
“It’s important! I think about the guys who are lost, people who are lost,” added Coogan.
“And even after that building went down and I went back to the financial center I saw the Freedom Towers, it strengthened me, made me a lot stronger than who I am knowing that we are a people, we a are a nation that can rise from anything” added Cummings.
The memorial was dedicated in 2011 at the community entrance and every year they host a ceremony.