RINDGE — Since 2008 James Pelletier of Winchendon, Mass., has held the Remember to Remember September 11 memorial on Sept. 11 at Cathedral of the Pines.
The solemn event began Monday at 8:46 a.m. and lasted three hours as each victim of Sept. 11 was named in a reverent recording made by volunteers at the New York Unit of the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic organization in 2002.
“We all agreed that dignity is more powerful than destruction. It’s that belief that this whole thing is based on,” said Pelletier, who was one of those volunteers who helped create the recordings. “Our primary goal is to get people to remember.”
He brings the recording to the Cathedral of the Pines each Sept. 11. The recording is played in multiple locations across New England and in New York, but Rindge is only location that ends with Pelletier and another volunteer reading the names of those who have died in terrorist attacks in the United States, he said.
“We’ve expanded what we do. We include all Americans killed on America soil,” he said. “We’re a little bit different because we include the Boston Marathon and Orlando Night Club Shooting. And as Americans are tragically killed we will honor them.”
Pelletier said he takes issue with Sept. 11 being named Patriot Day by politicians when they passed the Patriot Act.
Sept. 11 should be called Remembrance Day, he said, adding that it took 30 or more years for Memorial Day to grow into the observance of our country’s war dead that it has become.
Pelletier said he is not sure how many people the event held in the outdoor cathedral attract. People come and go silence, sitting for a while listening to the names, and then leaving. It’s a poignant three hours, he said, regardless of how many people attend.
“The primary goal is to get people to remember, not so much to get people to sit here for three hours. By doing this, what we want is just to get people to remember it,” Pelletier said.