Prayer services, wreath-laying ceremonies and musical tributes were just a few of the ways Buffalo commemorated the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks Sunday.
In an early morning ceremony at Erie Basin Marina, County Executive Joel A. Giambra, Mayor Anthony M. Masiello and Rep. Brian M. Higgins joined with local military leaders, fire and police officials and the Canadian consul general in a Remembrance Ceremony and Freedom Celebration, a solemn tribute to those who died during the terror attack.
"As Americans, we will always be challenged, and we must be ever vigilant while preserving our way of life and protecting our citizens from disasters -- whether they're God-given or hate-driven," Masiello said.
A highlight of the ceremony was "Freedom Waters," the stationary setting of boats in the harbor. The Buffalo Fireboat Edward M. Cotter held an on-water wreath ceremony at the same time, joined by the U.S. Coast Guard MotorLife Boat and the Erie County Sheriff's Department safety vessel.
Several religious leaders were on hand to offer prayers during the Remembrance Ceremony. The event also included bagpipes, soloists and a choir.
In Amherst, Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds addressed local firefighters during a ceremony paying tribute to the victims of the 9/1 1 attacks.
Reynolds was joined by members of the Amherst Fire Chiefs Association and the Amherst Past Chiefs Association, sponsors of the event.
Also Sunday morning, the American Red Cross held a moment of silence to recognize the contributions of emergency service personnel, and the Niagara Military Affairs Council held a prayer vigil at Summit Park Mall in Wheatfield on behalf of those who died on Sept. 11, as well as for the 914th Airlift Wing, which was just deployed to Iraq.