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Oriskany Honors 9-11 Victims

Photo credit: Gino Geruntino

Oriskany, NY (WIBX) -  Walking into the Waterbury Memorial Presbyterian Church in Oriskany quickly reveals a familiar, but potent, smell.

The smell of carpet shampoo and floor wax wafts throughout the more than 100 year old church; smells that seem to arise when an important family event is set to take place.

That exact kind of occasion is being held on Sunday, September 11, starting at 6 p.m.

Hundreds are expected to attend the tenth annual memorial at the Waterbury Church. For Karen Mesick, the organizer of the event, the goal is clear; to keep memories alive.

 “I think a lot of people have maybe not necessarily forgotten, but in some cases I think they have forgotten the tragedy of that day. And it’s around us daily, not just that day, and it’s changed our whole world and our whole country.

 Prominent members of the community have made plans to attend, including State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. In addition, a special guest living in Oriskany is scheduled to talk about her trip to the city to assist in the clean-up efforts.

 For others in the community, including Oriskany Village Trustee Shaun Kaleta, gathering to honor those lost in the wake of the attacks means much more than simply coming out to show support.

 “It’s a great way for the community, especially here in Oriskany, to get together and remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Like I said, it’s just great for everyone to be coming together.”

Kaleta’s remarks shadow the actions of volunteer firefighters from the Oriskany Fire Department. They traveled into New York City during the aftermath to assist with the recovery efforts.

In the wake of the attacks, the United States was forced to make changes to not only their defense systems, but their political and social spheres. Ten years later, it seems like things have returned to normal. To Kaleta, this event seems like the perfect way to re-capture some of the community lost in recent years.

 “Just ten years ago, look at how the nation, everyone, just came together. Ten years later, you look at today and you kind of look at what’s going on, specifically in Washington, how it just seems all of a sudden Americans are back to butting heads. Let 9/11 be a reminder that we can still be a nation of one and that there are more important things that are going on.”

Sunday’s memorial is yet another instance of a small town doing everything it can to honor those who gave their lives for freedom.

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