WESTPORT, Conn. – Holding a white rose in her left hand, 12-year-old Emma Hunt slowly walked to the 9/11 Living Memorial at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport on Monday evening. With the sun setting behind her, she crouched down to place her right hand on her father’s memorial stone and wept.
“I haven’t seen my father for 11 years now,” Emma said, wiping her eyes. Her father, William Hunt, worked for Euro Brokers in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center, where he died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was 32, and Emma was 15 months old.
Hunt, Emma and his wife, Jennifer Hunt Bauman — who has since remarried — lived in Norwalk. Now Emma and her mother live in Essex, but that doesn’t keep them from visiting the memorial every year, Bauman said.
Emma and her mother were among the hundreds of people who gathered at the state park for the annual Connecticut Remembers September 11 memorial service. During the ceremony, the names of the 161 victims who had ties to Connecticut were read aloud by four family members.
As the victims' names were read, those attending the ceremony sat silently. Some wiped their eyes or noses with a tissue. Others wore sunglasses to hide their tears.
“It’s been 11 years since I’ve seen you, or heard your laugh, or felt your smile,” Mary Henwood Klotz, sister of John Henwood, said after she read her brother’s name. “We love you and will never forget you.”
In addition to the friends and family of those who died, numerous state and local officials, including Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, state Sen. Toni Boucher, Weston First Selectman Gail Weinstein and state Rep. Gail Lavielle, also attended.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who said Gov. Dannel Malloy was out of the country, honored those lost and offered those in attendance words of comfort.
“Your presence here today means your loved ones are with us also,” Wyman said. “They are with us in the faces that I know are still vivid in your minds. They are with us in remembered voices and the love you feel in your heart.
“Today belongs to you, and to them, who I know live within you every minute of every day. For the rest of us here across Connecticut, and the nation, it is absolutely necessary that we never forget who they were, how they lived their lives and what they meant to you.”