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Bedford Middle School marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11 Monday morning.
It was the first school day after the actual anniversary, on Sunday. It also recalled an event that has receded far enough into the past that none of these middle school students can remember where they were on Sept. 11, 2001. They were too young at the time.
The students gathered on the lawn in front of the school as the school’s band played the National Anthem. A gathering of veterans and first responders, representatives of the Bedford Police Department, Bedford Volunteer Fire Department and Bedford Life Saving Crew, stood on the school’s porch.
Joseph Dooley, a Bedford police officer and Navy veteran, spoke to the students of his memory of that day. Dooley was an IC2, an interior communications electrician and second class petty officer aboard the USS Decatur (DDG-73). The Decatur, an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, was home ported in San Diego, Calif.
“We were making preparations to get underway for a weapons test,” Dooley recalled.
It was 6:30 a.m., Pacific time, and Dooley and others were on the mess deck eating breakfast when they heard about an airplane crashing into the World Trade Center. Televisions were switched on and they saw the second plane hit. At that point, they knew it was a terrorist attack.
“My concern was for my family and the safety of my country,” Dooley said, describing his thoughts. “How could something like this happen?”