VALHALLA, NY — In a solemn ceremony Tuesday night, Westchester County paid tribute to those who died in the tragic events of Sept 11, 2001 including 111 Westchester residents and 12 former residents.
County Executive Robert P. Astorino presided at the hour-long ceremony that took place at The Rising, the county’s 9/11 memorial at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. About 350 people attended, including family members of those who perished 11 years ago in the attacks on the World Trade center.
“With the passing of years, each anniversary has become easier and harder,” Astorino said in part. “Time has helped us heal. But we cannot let it dull our memories. The legacy of 9-11 must be more than a reflection on the past It must also be an inflection toward a better future. One way we can do that is to make each 9/11 anniversary a starting point in service to others — a day of prayer and remembrance that is also a call to action for each one of us to commit ourselves to a cause where ‘me’ becomes ‘we.'”
The candlelight ceremony was part of various remembrance activities throughout Westchester organized around the theme of using volunteerism as a way to honor those who died. Many of these events took place earlier in the day at Kensico Dam Plaza. A blood drive will take tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Westchester County Center.
The Sept 11 program was the following:
· Welcome Remarks: Ned McCormack, Director of Communications/Senior Advisor
· Presentation of the Colors: Westchester County Department of Public Safety Ceremonial Unit, The Pipes and Drums of the Police Emerald Society of Westchester and Hawthorne Boy Scout Troop 1 of the Westchester Putnam Council
· Pledge of Allegiance: Congresswomen Nita M. Lowey and Nan Hayworth
· Laying of the Wreath and Remarks: County Executive Robert P. Astorino, 9/11 Family member Rosaleen O’Neill and Boy Scout Troop 1 members Robert Garan, Christian Falco and Sean Healy
· Remarks: Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins
· God Bless America: Luciano Lamonarca, tenor