By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – On a solemn, overcast morning on Sept. 11, members of Westborough’s Police, Fire and EMS departments, town officials and residents gathered at the 9/11 Memorial located in front of the Westborough Fire Station to honor those whose lives were lost in the tragedy 18 years ago.
Westborough Fire Dept. Captain Brian Roberts, who retired just last week from the department, delivered moving remarks during the ceremony. He was part of a team from the Worcester Disaster Medical Assistance Team that traveled to Manhattan after the tragedy. Roberts detailed how he, like so many other first responders, was “privileged to be part of the response and solution.”
“We thought it would be a rescue mission,” he said, “but it became increasingly clear that it would be a “recovery mission.”
“It was a quiet, sober feeling of hopelessness,” he added, “and that we were faced with an evil we had never seen before.”
He recalled opening a small box and discovering a few medical supplies and a note from what appeared to be an elderly woman. The woman had emptied out her own personal medicine cabinet and donated those supplies to the rescue efforts.
“I knew then that everyone felt that sense of hopelessness, too,” Roberts said, “but also there was such an outpouring of support. It left me humbled.”
Westborough has a very personal connection to the tragedy. Two residents, Robin Kaplan and Linda George, were traveling with five other TJX Companies employees on the ill-fated American Airlines 11 flight that was hijacked, before crashing into the north tower. Kaplan was 33 years old and George only 27 when they were killed. Their names are now inscribed on a marble stone as part of the 9/11 Memorial.