Families of Connecticut 9/11 Victims Gather for the 16th Annual Memorial Ceremony in Westport

WESTPORT – Monday marks 16 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and to remember those that passed, an annual ceremony was held Thursday.

Families gathered at the Sherwood Island State park for the 16th Annual Memorial Ceremony, an event that overlooks Long Island Sound. Mary Anne Mullins of Watertown lost her cousin, Gregory Spagnoletti where she said she remembers the events like it was yesterday.

“After two weeks, they said, nobody survived, you know” said Mullins.

To keep Gregory’s memory alive, she and her family started the Gregory Spagnoletti Foundation which holds a big golf tournament in New York every year. That money goes towards a great cause in providing equipment for kids in Watertown who love to play hockey just like Gregory.

“He was the life of the party. He always had a joke to tell,” added Mullins.

Mullins said it is typically very quiet out on the water by the memorial but there were sailboats all over during the ceremony and she called it a sign from Gregory as he also had a love for them.

“Every year, we say Greg gave us a beautiful day because it’s always so nice here,” added Mullins.

Governor Dannel Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman were also there to pay their respects.

“Events like these are intended to remind us of what was,” said Governor Malloy.

White roses were placed by the memorial to remember the 161 people from Connecticut who lost their lives in the attacks.

This is Connecticut’s official memorial to the victim; families gathered there on that day in 2001 as they watched the black smoke rise across the Long Island Sound, a memory that will forever be embedded in family's minds.