2011 Review: A year of remembrances

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As the nation reflected on the ten-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, so too did the town of Canton, as leaders held a moving ceremony and memorial dedication in honor of Canton native Michael Uliano and the nearly 3,000 others who lost their lives on that unforgettable day.

The new September 11 memorial (Mary Ellen Cahill photo)

A star athlete, talented actor, and beloved family member and friend, Uliano was only 42 when he was killed in the World Trade Center’s North Tower along with 657 of his Cantor Fitzgerald colleagues.

Hundreds turned out at Veterans Memorial Park for the Sunday morning ceremony, including many of his siblings, nieces and nephews, and former classmates. Selectmen Chairman John Connolly, a lifelong friend of Uliano’s, organized the event with help from numerous town officials.

Along with a series of heartfelt speeches and presentations, the ceremony featured the unveiling of a permanent granite memorial — a striking re-creation of the twin towers, designed by Canton architect Greg Pando and topped by two plaques whose inscriptions were prepared by Fire Chief Charlie Doody.

Later that afternoon, many of those same town officials took part in a special recognition ceremony in honor of Canton’s Vietnam veterans. Hundreds of veterans and their family members packed the stands at the high school football field as town leaders offered their deepest apologies for the poor treatment of soldiers in the years during and immediately after the war.

Everyone from high ranking military officers to Galvin Middle School students took part in the hour-long ceremony, which was organized by Veterans Agent Tony Andreotti. All of the veterans in attendance received a special gift and were treated to a meal at the American Legion building. Andreotti also received a surprise honor from the U.S. Army: the Commanders’ Award for Public Service for his tireless commitment to assisting veterans.

The bleachers at Memorial Field were filled with Vietnam veterans and their families during a special recognition ceremony held on September 11. (Amy Nachbar photo)

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