BALLSTON SPA – It has been more than 15 years since that unforgettable day in September 2001, when the lives of thousands were lost or irrevocably altered by the unimaginable hatred and violence of others. [Read more…]
BALLSTON SPA — Two steel rails, approximately 10 feet long, arrived via police escort to the Village of Ballston Spa on Wednesday, May 26 at about 5:15 p.m. The artifacts were in the PATH [Read more…]
All across the country people will be stopping to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001- for the Canty family and many others in the village, that day changed their lives forever, what it didn’t change, though, is the love they have for thier family and for thier country.
Bill Canty of Ballston Spa lost his brother Michael in the World Trade Center. Since then he and his family have established a memorial fund. Canty said his brother worked for Carr Futures as a Commodity Trader, and worked on the 92 Floor of the North Tower.
“Everyone on his floor died that morning. The plane had struck the building very close to his floor and the staircase and elevators were not accessible, so Mike and all of his 69 co-workers died that morning. We wanted to remember Mike and bring some good to this horrible tragedy so we created an IRS qualified charity called the Michael Canty Memorial Fund,” said Canty.
Funds are raised through the Mike Canty Fun Run, a 5K walk and run, usually attended by about 500 people each year on Labor Day weekend. Canty said the event draws family and friends from all over the country. He said the city recognized his parents, Ed and Kathy, this year with a humanitarian award for their contributions. They received the Schenectady Patroon Award from the mayor, the highest award provided for community service to Schenectady.
Now, in its tenth year, the run has raised more than $750,000 in scholarships funds. Canty said the fund exists to provide educational scholarships to Schenectady High School students. One student is selected each year and provided with $7,500 for four years, so each student who receives the scholarship gets a total of $30,000 over four years.
Other events taking place to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 include a concert in Wiswall Park. This event found it’s beginning as a result of the empathy Laurie Hersh’s son Justin felt on the morning of the attacks. Hersh said Justin, who suffers from congestive heart failure said he was horrified that day and felt compelled to do something to help. She said he decided to play his guitar in the park for seven straight days and vowed to earn $11,000.
“You know what they say, if you build it, they will come. People came out and supported Justin, played along with him, and in the end he raised $7,000. There were people there in the middle of the night. People took turns staying with Justin. It was amazing,” said Hersh.
Now, ten years later, the village is holding a similar memorial event. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., people can come together in the park for a picnic, live music and guest speakers, including local police and firefighters.
Ballston Spa High School students will take time on Friday, Sept. 9, to recall and remember the attacks. High school students will join school leaders, faculty and staff, local dignitaries, veterans, and community emergency service personnel, as part of the event.
Those being honored will include local veterans, Ballston Spa High School graduates Daniel Cazasta, United States Army, BSHS 2007 and Johnathan Mendez, United States Marie Corps 2007 to 2011, BSHS 2007 by Seniors Atry Moats and Connor Doud, as well as an address by New York State Sen. Roy McDonald R-Saratoga.
A flag flown over the American camp in Afghanistan will be raised as part of the dedication, conducted by seniors Scott Ferron and Allison Zduczyk. The trees are being donated by Bob’s Trees and installed by Barnes Landscaping. Additional landscaping will be donated by Kerry Mendez of Perennially Yours.
BY SAM CAPUANO
The morning of September 11, 2001 started off pleasantly enough; it was a beautiful late summer morning as I headed to work at Ballston Spa National Bank. The work day began with a meeting, when suddenly one of my co-workers popped her head into the conference room. In a manner now seeming amazingly nonchalant, she casually said: “Well, they just hit the second tower, too.”
There were looks of confusion from those of us sitting at the long table. We wondered who exactly “they” were, and what towers were hit. And, what did she mean by “hit”?
Of the many things that have changed since then, one is the immediacy of receiving news. Yes, we all had cell phones by then, but they were clunky pieces of hardware used, well, for making phone calls, and nothing else. They did not provide the instant news they do today.
So, instead, still not quite knowing what was going on, we turned on the “Today Show.” It was a bit unclear as to what we were watching. A tail of smoke was coming from one of the Twin Towers. So much so, we were unaware it was the only one still standing. Until a few minutes later when it fell. The dread in the voice of the usually upbeat Katie Couric spoke volumes.
Then, we knew. Perhaps not everything, but we knew something was horribly wrong. The next day, the Times Union’s headline was huge and black. “Freedom Under Siege,” it exclaimed. The only headlines I had ever seen so large before were the ones following the Kennedy assassination my mother had saved. This is perhaps fitting, as that day became the one my generation will never forget where they were when they heard. And, like my mother on that November day in 1963, I, too saved all the newspapers. They are yellowing a bit now, but have lost none of their impact.
As I walked around the downtown business district on September 12th, I saw people shell shocked. And, from those whose shock had already run through their system, I saw anger. Much anger.
I also saw a patriotism I had not seen since the 1976 United States Bicentennial. Flags were all of a sudden all over downtown. They were all displayed in front of seemingly every house, many were usually only seen on Flag, Memorial and Independence Days.
So much was lost on that Tuesday ten years ago. Personally, I had three friends from college working in the Towers when the planes hit. One somehow made it out safely, and had some harrowing remembrances of the flames shooting up the elevator shaft. And, he kept mentioning the heat, the incredible heat, along with the horrible smell of the jet fuel. He often was unable to finish his sentences, overcome by the memories, which as the years went by, became the subject of cold sweat inducing nightmares.
He fared better than my other two friends, though. Their names are listed among the other dead in the September 11 section of the New York State Museum in Albany.
Of the many things I saw on September 12th, the one that had the most lasting impression on me was a sign on the door of the Excellent Adventures Comic Book store: “United We Stand. And United We Will Prevail.”
I walked inside the store and there were a few regulars discussing what everyone else was discussing. The anger was apparent. One of the guys was already looking at rebuilding the Towers, and had an idea.
“We should put up three towers to replace them,” he said without trying to be funny. “The middle tower would be the tallest, to show us flipping the bird to the terrorists.”
As we approach the ten year anniversary of the attack this weekend, I am not sure where we ended up as a result. We have had a few wars that have gone on forever, taking more lives. Saddam Hussein was hanged. Osama bin Laden took a bullet in the eyes. Yet for every seeming victory, there is defeat. Getting through airport security has become an exercise in pain. The politicians in Saratoga Springs, who have yet to find a simple task they can’t make difficult, are squabbling over the location of their 9/11 Memorial. And any rumblings, such as the one from last month’s earthquake, immediately have people thinking it’s happening again.
So, invoking the sign I saw, I opine, we may have stood united since then, but have we prevailed?
This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Looking back over the last decade, we cannot help but acknowledge how much things have changed since then, and not for the better.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks there was a surge of patriotism and a universal determination to move forward as a country, regardless of the threats we faced. There was a sense of unity, and there was a shared vision of our American identity.
But over the ensuing 10 years that unity has fractured, and badly. We now define our identities by our differences rather than our common legacy as Americans. And our political discourse has degenerated into an endless battle for advantage rather than an exercise in public service. The fighting is constant.
Recent polls show the American people have had enough of the bickering. While the president’s approval rating is at its lowest point since his inauguration, the approval rating for Congress is even lower. Almost three-quarters of the people, liberals and conservatives alike, believe the country is on the wrong track.
For ordinary citizens the general reaction to all the acrimony is revulsion. We understand that reaction and often share it. But we also hope our friends and neighbors will draw the distinction between the power politics in Washington and the much more practical politics here at home. Disgust at the spectacle in Washington shouldn’t keep us from participating at the local level.
While the maneuvering within the Beltway is driven by the enormous amounts of money needed to run for office and the massive corporate cash machine that drives the process, in our community the issues are simpler. The looming primary and general elections can be seen as a referendum on two competing visions of development in Malta, and the gyrations in Milton, while certainly focused on one individual in the short term, likewise, are ultimately about the course and pace of change.
Ultimately, it will be up to the citizens themselves to decide the questions by voting for whichever candidate they agree with. That is the way our system works- we hire the people to make the decisions based on the promises they make to us. If they fail to follow through, we vote for someone else the next time around.
That system relies on informed voters. Part of the problem with Washington is the clever way slick politicos misinform by distorting the issues, or misrepresenting positions, or smearing opponents unfairly or simply lying. Clever manipulation of the media is the rule of the day, and we in the press must plead guilty to the charge of too often failing to resist that manipulation.
But even if we report the news–as we should, always–as fully and accurately as we possibly can, it is still up to the voters to reach out for information, to make distinctions between truth and falsehood, and to understand the issues in their respective communities. Only informed voters can make informed decisions. And one can only become informed by participating in the process.
In the coming weeks and months there will be many opportunities for citizens to explore the issues involved in their local primaries and elections. We endeavor at this newspaper to be one of those opportunities. But there are others, including town board meetings, political rallies, public presentations by local business leaders, candidate nights and many more. We hope our fellow citizens will take maximum advantage of these events to find out more about the candidates and their positions.
But more than that, we hope our friends and neighbors will come to understand the process is an ongoing one, and not just an election. Staying informed is itself a means of participation. We don’t all have to agree, and in fact our Founding Fathers hoped and expected we wouldn’t. But they did hope we would understand why when we didn’t. Had we kept that in mind the last ten years perhaps things would be different now.
By PATRICIA OLDER
For Ballston Spa locals, Friday night will be a night to remember.
Brookside Museum is presenting an exhibition in memory of the people who lost their lives 10 years ago in the terrorist attacks changing the way we view the world. The exhibit, which features a local perspective of the 9/11 attacks, will have a grand opening this Friday, Sept. 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m
The exhibit, said curator Kathleen Coleman, will feature nine images loaned by Ann Hauprich, the former editor and publisher of Saratoga County Living magazine. Taken by Hauprich and others in the area, the pictures reflect the coming together of local residents following the tragedy and the pain people felt in the days after the attacks.
In addition, a quilt created by Ballston Spa Middle School fifth graders taking the consumer science classes in 2002 will also be on exhibit.
“The quilt is very special,” said Coleman. “And what their teacher wrote is beautiful.”
The quilt was the idea of home and careers teacher Sandra Catricala. In a letter she wrote when donating the quilt, Catricala said as she was preparing for the school year, she began thinking about the upcoming one year mark of the tragedy and how she and the students could honor the time. In a poignant and reflective letter, which will also be on display, Catricala tells of the process she underwent to come up with something the students could do to remember those who lost their lives. She writes of how it was too important of an anniversary to just forget, but at the same time, did not want what the students did to be too disruptive.
“I decided that building a quilt with all my home and career skills students on that day would be a way to respectively give appropriate attention to 9/11 and allow them to participate in a creative process that would lead to a positive outcome and memory,” writes Catricala.
But even the design choice would prove difficult, writes Catricala. After studying quilts in a number of books, she said she decided on the split rail design because it would allow for the use of red, white, and blue. But, she realized, the split rail fence represented keeping people out.
“I discussed this with my neighbor and classroom volunteer from State Farm Insurance, Kristin Halligan. Kristin and I came to the conclusion that fences also protect. I decided that the preamble of the Constitution was the heart of what needed to be protected,” writes Catricala.
While work on the quilt began on Spet. 11, 2002, it took the rest of the year to completely finish. When complete, it was entered into the Saratoga County Fair where it won a first place and later an honorable mention from the New York State Quilts Exhibit at Russell Sage College.
In addition, the photographs featured in Hauprich’s Saratoga County Living magazine immediately following the tragedy will also be on display, with images from a Ballston Spa couple at a candlelight vigil, to a young boy in patriotic gear at Spa State Park, to a garage in Saratoga with the American flag painted on it. Some taken by Hauprich and others by Antonio Bucca and the Al and Eisenhauer family all represent what local residents did to unify in the wake of 9/11.
In addition to the 9/11 exhibit, which will only be up until Nov. 18, people can view the baseball exhibit and transportation exhibits. The transportation exhibit will be replaced in Nov. with a year-long quilt exhibit. Midway through the year, quilts already on display will be replaced with others so that all may be shown. The BSMS quilt will remain on display.
For information, call Brookside at 885-4000 or visit their website at http://www.brooksidemuseum.org
The open house and reception will be the Friday, Sept. 2, from 5-8 p.m. Light refreshments will be available.
By DAN SABBATINO
In a joint effort aimed at looking forward to the technological advancements Saratoga County has to offer, back at the loss of life during terrorist attacks from nearly 10 years ago and to appreciate the presently serving members of the country’s armed forces, the Town of Malta is planning a series of events to commemorate active military, first responders and veterans during an “appreciation day” parade.
A number of events will take place during Saturday, Sept. 10, and the day will culminate in community informational event at Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART Facility. The day was selected to combine efforts to commemorate the victims of terrorist attacks on 9/11 and acknowledge the “service and sacrifice of military and civilian public servants.”
Audrey Ball, director of parks, recreation and human services in Malta said the event allows the community to show how much it means to them to have volunteers help keep them safe.
“I think … it becomes an opportunity for Malta to thank veterans and presently-serving members of the armed forces,” she said. “It’s not just the veterans. It’s the volunteers.”
The day kicks off with the Malta Business and Professional Association’s second 5K race.
The 5K route will go through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Saratoga Technology and Energy Park and the Luther Forest Technology Campus, where Hudson Valley Community College’s new TEC-SMART Campus and the GLOBALFOUNDRIES new chip fab plant are located.
“Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Saratoga County Rural Preservation Company, local veterans and emergency response organizations,” according to information from organizers.
You can register online for the race and get all the race details at www.maltabpa.com/malta5k.
After the race, the day’s events shift over to the Malta Military, Veterans and First Responders Appreciation Day and Parade, and is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. It will begin near the Community Center and proceed one mile south on Route 9. This year, those marching in the parade will include a military band, two marching bands, the Navy Power Training Unit, the Air Force, Marine Corps, Army and others.
After the parade, a military exhibit is scheduled at the Town of Malta Complex. An application and list of road closures and detours can be found at www.malta-town.org.
Then, the last leg of the day’s festivities will culminate at the HVCC TEC-SMART Facility at 345 Hermes Road until 2:00 p.m. Organizers are promising a day full of fun, informative activities for all ages, giveaways, food and much more.”
“Learn about the state-of-the-art HVCC extension center that offers classes in such fields as photovoltaic, alternative fuels, wind power and semiconductor manufacturing,” reads a statement about the event. “Take a tour of the labs while learning about the program offerings and the careers they can lead to, with information on current job opportunities and average salaries available. After learning about the educational requirements for a high-tech future, take a virtual tour of the clean rooms at one of the most prestigious research facilities in the country, the UAlbany College of Nanoscience Engineering.”
Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery will on hand to collect used electronics to recycle, at no cost, and representatives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will be available to discuss the importance of “sustainable decisions” and answer questions regarding home energy efficiency, according to a statement.
Further, local food vendors will be on site throughout the day as well as the Tri-City Valley Cats speed pitch machine and their mascot, SouthPaw.
“Were encouraging everybody to come out,” Ball said. “We hope that everyone turns out to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of our military and civilian public servants and show appreciation for what they do for us every day.”
Route 9 will be close from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the day of the parade. The detour will take traveler’s on Route 9P to Dunning Street and then to Hemphill Place, where drivers will be asked to take a left on Route 9, south to Saratoga Village Boulevard where they can then proceed to the I-87 Northway.
As part of this remembrance, Board of Supervisors Chairman Thomas Wood, R-Saratoga, is inviting Saratoga County community and religious organizations, residents, visitors and businesses to participate in a county-wide moment of silence and memorial bell ringing on the morning of Sunday, September 11.
Wood asked supervisors from each municipality to reach out to religious and community organizations in their communities to promote the idea, and according to information from Wood’s office, the idea has been met with much support from the board, with two communities, Clifton Park and Stillwater, planning town-sponsored commemorative events.
Inspired by memories of the anniversaries immediately following 2001, Wood said he wants to promote the idea of a bell-ringing that could be heard county-wide so no matter where in the county someone was, they could pause for a moment to reflect on the day.
“We hope that everyone within our borders on September 11th will join us in remembering the thousands of lives cut short on that terrible day 10 years ago,” he said in a statement.
Community and religious organizations are invited to independently mark a 30-second moment of silence followed by a bell ringing at 8:46 a.m. The suggested bell ringing is five phrases of five rings each, which, when multiplied together, this number closely represents the number of lives lost as a result of the tragic events 10 years ago.
Organizations are encouraged to develop separate activities around the memorial if they choose, and invite the community to participate. Businesses and residents are also invited to participate in the commemoration by proudly displaying the United States flag, yellow ribbons and other patriotic items in support of the US and the men and women serving in, the armed forces, as well as veterans of the military.
“September 11th was a day of heroism by many people. There were the families, the victims, the first responders, passer-bys and our military. Immediately following the 9/11 attack, our country showed great patriotism and support of all these people,” said Supervisor Mary Ann Johnson, R-Day, chairwoman of the board’s veterans’ committee. “Today we need to look back and remember and reflect on the horrific events that occurred on 9/11 and we need to renew that spirit of service and sense of common purpose that makes us who we are. There were many heroes from 9/11 as there are many heroes from our military branches of service who give their lives every day in their service to country as they serve to protect our freedoms at home and abroad. We pay tribute to these heroes not only on this special day of 9/11 but every day.”