September 11 of each year has become a time to remember the terrorist attack on New York City and Washington, D.C., and the aborted attack that ended in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on that day in 2001.

In Brookline, a Remembrance event organized by local residents with the help of Brookline Interactive Group will be held to remember the people with Brookline connections who lost their lives that day. The event will be held at Fire Station #5 on Babcock Street on Friday, September 11, 2020, starting at 9:30 a.m. 

There will be a live ceremony where we will read the names of individuals from Brookline who lost their lives that day in 2001 and hear presentations from the family of victims and local leaders.  Because of Covid-19 concerns, we are urging people to participate remotely. Those attending live will be required to practice physical distancing and wear masks.  Family, friends, and community members can view the live stream at home on brooklineinteractive.org/live or watch live on Channels 3 and 23 on Comcast and on Channels 3 and 15 on RCN.    

At 9:55 a.m., the Brookline Fire Department, like fire departments across the Commonwealth will hold a moment of silence and a special fire fighter’s remembrance. The Remembrance event will include an Honor Guard and a special tribute to Brookline native Manuel Del Valle, Jr. whose brother, Brookline firefighter Peter Moyer, will speak. Del Valle died while racing into one of the World Trade Center towers to save people while serving as a New York City firefighter. A bench was dedicated to Manny’s memory on the front lawn of Station 5 in Coolidge Corner in 2011.

The people with Brookline ties that died that day were:

Christine Barbuto – 32 – a Brookline resident

Kelly Anne Booms – 24 – a Brookline resident.

John Brett Cahill – 56 – born in Brookline but a resident of Wellesley.

Manual Del Valle, Jr. – a 1988 graduate of Brookline High School and an NYC firefighter assigned to Engine 5, one of the first fire companies to respond.

Gerald P. Dewan – 35 – a West Roxbury native and third-generation firefighter. His brother, Jack Dewan, served for many years as a Brookline Fire Fighter. Gerald Dewan was a New York City firefighter who was one of the first responders on September 11.

Karleton Fyfe – 31 – a Brookline resident

Lisa Gordenstein – 41 – lived in Needham but graduated from Brookline High School in 1977

Daniel C. Lewin – 31 – a Brookline resident. According to newspaper reports he was stabbed on Flight 11 as it was hijacked. This is evidence that the passengers on that flight heroically resisted the terrorists.

We honor them today and ask that you honor them too by reflecting on the lessons of that day that speak to our values, not our fears. Unfortunately, September 11, 2001, gave rise to fears and increased hatred of Muslims in America and even here in Brookline. The fact is that approximately 60 innocent Muslims are known to have died in the attacks – excluding of course the 19 terrorists.

Two of those Muslim individuals have a nearby connection and can give a face to those victims who have often victimized themselves by ignorant fears. Ysuff Salie and his wife Haleema lost their daughter Rahma, who was seven months pregnant, and Rahma’s husband, Michael. They were passengers on the plane that crashed into the north tower. Rahma’s parents live in Newton and in 2001 owned two bakery-cafes. Haleema Salie is quoted in national media in 2010 as saying: “We would like people to know that we are Muslims and my daughter and son-in-law were Muslims. They were victims too.”