By Jesse Kucewicz, Contributing Writer
WESTBOROUGH – Community members gathered as church bells rang in unison across Westborough Sept. 11, recognizing the moments that hijacked airliners struck each of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York exactly 20 years prior.
Near Westborough’s 9/11 Memorial at the intersection of Milk Street and Grove Street, representatives and first responders spoke about their experiences immediately following the attacks. They also reflected on the ways that life has changed in the years since the attacks.
Firefighter Captain Brian Roberts, who has since retired, was a member of the United States Disaster Medical Assistance Team on 9/11. When the attacks happened, he was called with his team to provide help at Ground Zero.
“It wasn’t difficult for us to get a team together; everyone on our team wanted to go,” Roberts said. “Everyone was willing to drop whatever they were doing to pitch in. All of us felt privileged to be part of the response and part of the solution.”
Allen Edinberg, Chair of the Westborough Select Board, spoke about how he has seen our country change as a whole throughout the past 20 years.
“I mourn and think about how fear can prevent understanding and even peace,” Edinberg said. “At the same time as I mourn, I think about the lessons learned, or maybe the lessons not yet learned from 9/11.”
“The first thing that comes to mind is resilience, in individuals and the community,” he continued. “How we have adapted, moved on, and in many ways rebuilt, is a testament to individual resilience.”
As the events of that day impacted communities across the nation and the world, Westborough specifically lost two of its own on Sept. 11, 2001.
Robin Kaplan, 33, and Linda George, 27, were both on American Airlines flight 11 with colleagues from TJX Companies when that plane was hijacked and crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
Their names are now inscribed on a marble stone as part of the 9/11 Memorial.