Video courtesy of Martin Fiedler, Just Right TV Productions
Garrabrant became the supervisor with the evidence response team at the World Trade Center site in the aftermath of the attacks.
“I found myself working 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” Garrabrant said, of the work that continued to unfold after the attacks to locate the other terrorists that were in the state as well as the cases involving anthrax.
He spoke of when an airliner crashed into the Pentagon and when the passengers on a hijacked plane fought to regain control of the jet when it crashed in Shanksville, Pa. He told of those he knew who died and those who lost loved ones in the attacks.
“Remember 911. Remember all of the sacrifices that were made. Remember the heroes that we lost,” Garrabrant said. “Never forget how lucky we are to live, love, worship and travel and believe.”
During the ceremony, Mayor Jay Gillian spoke of the resiliency of the community and their strength at the time of 9/11. He spoke of the former Ocean City Mayor Bud Knight invited the community to gather at the Tabernacle in order to bring the city together during the difficult time in history.
He said it is time to get back to a time when everyone is together and there is more acceptance, rather than division.
“It’s time we get back to what it’s all about,” he said.
Gillian looked at the audience and gave thanks.
“I’m proud of the community gathered here,” he said.
Gillian also reflected on not only the thousands of men and women who lost their lives, but to the families left behind. He asked that people remember them as well.
The ceremony included poignant traditions including the Striking of the Four Fives, a fire service tradition noting the death of a firefighter in the line of duty.
More than 400 firefighters, police officers other emergency workers died in New York on 9/11.
Ocean City Fire Chief Jim Smith asked the community to never forget 9/11.
“I don’t want to see us forget what happened. Firefighters, EMTs, police officers and civilians died,” he said.
Smith said Striking of the Four Fives is a tradition steeped in symbolism and is one responsibility that no chief wants to bear, because it signals the loss of firefighters.
He struck the bell over and over again in honor of the victims of the 9/11 attacks from the twin towers, to the Pentagon to the field in Shanksville, Pa.
The ceremony also included many other significant traditions such as the laying of a commemorative wreath.
Ocean City Firefighter Brian Warley and Patrolman Jeff Doto carried the wreath down to the front of the Tabernacle with Charlie Rutan playing the bagpipes.
After the service inside the Tabernacle, Warley and Doto brought the wreath across the street to the Fire House headquarters at 550 Wesley Ave. to lay the wreath at the city’s 9/11 memorial, which features a beam recovered from the charred remains of the World Trade Center at the Fire House headquarters across from the Tabernacle.
The program was emceed by Michael Allegretto, aide to the mayor. Ocean City Boy Scout Troop 32 presented the colors. Morgan Murphy sang the National Anthem and Natalie Argento sang God Bless America.
Chaplain for the Ocean City Fire Department Rev. John Jamieson gave the invocation and the benediction.
In his benediction, Jamieson said that on 9/11, “We were on high alert.”
“I spent many hours with first responders,” he said. “We will never forget.”