Town of Kent pays tribute to 20th anniversary of Sept. 11

KENT — On Saturday, Sept. 11, Kent First Selectman Jean Speck was joined by three former First Selectmen, the Kent Volunteer Fire Department, Kent American Legion Post 153 Color Guard, bagpiper Don Hicks, and Pastor John Heecht of the First Congregational Church of Kent for a special ceremony to honor the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

First Selectman Jean Speck welcomed approximately 75 attendees. At the ceremony, community members shared their personal remembrances and a special tribute was paid to first responders and to the memory of those lost and those who continue to suffer.

Reflections of the day were shared by a number of residents — Peter Gadiel, whose son James Gadiel was the only Kent resident to die in the attacks, reflected on the continued importance of improving security at the borders. Kathleen Lindenmayer, a US Navy intelligence officer, spoke about her experience working at the Pentagon that day. Former First Selectman Maureen Brady, mother of Kathleen Lindenmayer, described being called to Maryland to help care for her grandchildren while her daughter and son-in-law worked ‘round the clock in their military roles.

Lorry Schiesel, Kent First Selectman on that day in 2001, said the best way to honor those who died on 9-11 is by working to preserve their freedom. Former First Selectman Bruce Adams shared his experience as a longtime Kent Center School teacher, making the decision with Assistant Principal Ron Viafore on that day to keep the seventh- and eighth-grade students together with a television on to discuss and process the unfolding events.