Stephanie Riley has never missed a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony in Canandaigua. On Monday, she joined others who lined Main Street for the 16th anniversary observance of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In the march of firefighters, police officers, ambulance crews and other first responders was her husband, Patrick Riley. Patrick is a volunteer firefighter with the Farmington Fire Department. Stephanie is an Emergency Medical Technician with the department. As the first sign of fire trucks and other vehicles in the procession appeared, Stephanie said she wanted to make sure Patriot Day and what it stands for is never forgotten.
With the Riley children, ages 1 and 4, by her side, Stephanie said a new generation is too young to recall experiencing the horror of that day. But observances like the one that culminated at the American Legion Post 256 remind Americans not to take their freedom for granted, she said.
Watching the march nearby was Navy veteran Gerry Schriver, who recalled the details of that day 16 years ago. He was at a conference just outside New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 when al-Qaida hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people. Schriver said he feared for the future of the country and a return to war.