Carol Stream Village President Frank Saverino expressed heartfelt gratitude Sunday for the firefighters, police officers and civilians who risked their own safety to help others on Sept. 11, 2001.
He talked about a friend of his who lives and works in New York and dove into the rubble at the World Trade Center site in an effort to reach survivors. His friend now deals with respiratory problems, Saverino said.
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"He, like others, didn't know what he was getting into," he said. "But I'm sure they didn't care. They just rushed in to help."
Saverino was one of the speakers at a memorial service marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks Sunday morning at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream. The service was one of many such services held in DuPage County Sunday.
The services included video presentations, songs and moments of silence. Many in the crowds carried American flags and dabbed their eyes with tissues when reminded of the devastation caused 10 years ago when terrorists deliberately crashed jet airliners into the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon building just outside Washington D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania.
The services also were a time for local residents to thank and honor their own police officers and firefighters.
"I think we do take them for granted a little bit," said Naperville resident Donna Carmichael, who attended her city's service at the Dan Shanower Memorial behind city hall. The memorial is named for a Naperville native who died in the attack on the Pentagon.
Looking out on the hundreds of people who attended Naperville's service, Mayor George Pradel said the attacks, as tragic as they were, showed the resiliency of the American people.
"Our hearts are saddened, yet also strengthened, as we go forward in this great country of ours," he said.