Westfield honors 9/11 dead, including 3 city natives
Nineteen years ago, three Westfield natives were among those killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and their hometown remembered them Friday in an annual ceremony at the memorial erected in their honor.
The 9/11 Memorial Park is dedicated to Westfield natives Tara Shea-Creamer, Brian Murphy, and Daniel Trant, who died in the attacks launched on Sept. 11, 2001. Shea-Creamer was a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first of two planes to crash into World Trade Center towers in New York, while Murphy and Trant were at work in the World Trade Center.
The ceremony was attended by family members who gather each year to celebrate the lives of their lost loved ones. James F. Shea, former Westfield schools superintendent and father of Tara Shea-Creamer; Ann Murphy, Brian Murphy’s sister; and Matthew Trant, brother of Daniel Trant were once again present for the laying of the wreath in honor of the dead.
Matthew Trant said his brother was an unassuming man who would be humbled by the support from the community that, like the rest of the country, never forgets the events of that tragic day.
“Daniel would have wondered why this ceremony is held year after year. He was a humble guy,” he said. “He would have been appreciative and grateful, as our family is, to have this wonderful outpouring of support.”
Ann Murphy said it is important for the community to remember 9/11 in order to continue the American way of life as we know it.
“It’s important for the community to remember the horrific events of that happened 19 years ago,” she said. “It’s gratifying that Westfield is diligent in remembering what happened on that heinous day. This is an annual reminder that we need to work every day to preserve our way of life.”
The ceremony was led by Mayor Donald F. Humason Jr., and included speakers U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, and state Sen. John Velis, D-Westfield, all of whom spoke of the need to never forget 9/11, the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost that day, and the resiliency of our country.
Velis said it is critical for the citizens of Westfield and the rest of the country to always remember the importance of 9/11, which left a profound effect on world affairs to this day.
“Here in Westfield we don’t forget the day that changed America forever,” he said. “I wonder if the cowards who are to blame anticipated that 19 years later we’d still be here today.”
Neal paid tribute to the first responders who ran into the burning buildings as people fled them before the towers toppled to the ground.
“When everyone else was trying to get out, fire and police ran in,” he said. "Buildings can be rebuilt and sod relayed, but we should never forget the grief of these families.
Neal also said the country needs to remain vigilant because another 9/11 could happen.
“It could happen again,” Neal said. “It’s similar to Pearl Harbor, but these were innocent people who went to work that day.”