Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 18 September 2009 00:00
Although it was 8:30 a.m on a rainy, dank and chilly day, for September, the meeting room of Clark Gardens on I.U. Willets Road, Albertson, in the Town of North Hempstead, was packed as county, town and local officials jammed in to be part of the eighth September 11 Memorial Service.
The day was so unlike that horrible day eight years ago that dawned to a bright, crisp and clear September.
The service was run by North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross, who opened with touching remarks. She said, “9/11 now jumps from the calendar page just as vividly as the 4th of July or Jan. 1t. Each year it reminds us where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the two towers falling, or when the plane crashed into the Pentagon or into a field in Pennsylvania.
“Although it’s been eight years, it often feels like yesterday and we can never look at another firefighter or police officer without remembering how they led the rescue and how so many of them were lost because of their courageous struggle to help others.”
She then introduced the many officials who were there to observe the day, starting with North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman who thanked all in attendance for coming “to remember those in the town who perished on that fateful day, a day when those so filled with hate for this country were able to accomplish such disaster.”
Town Receiver of Taxes Rocco Iannarelli led the Pledge of Allegiance and then asked for a moment of silence to commemorate the exact time each plane went into each tower.
Patrick Tobin, of the town, sang a moving version of the national anthem and Danielle Reed, of the Multiculural Peace Mission Choir, offered a beautiful musical interlude of What A Wonderful Life and then she asked that everyone join in and sing, God Bless America which they did.
Michelle Schimel, who was the North Hempstead Town Clerk when the first 9/11 Memorial Service was held, followed her tradition of reading a meaningful poem. This year she recited, I Think Continually Of Those Who Were Truly Great” by Stephen Spender. The poem is as follows:I think continually of those who were truly great,
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history?
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song,
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.
What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Braking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who are at their hearts the fire’s center.
Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.
The Reverend Kurt von Rueschlaub, of the Port Washington Episcopal Church, delivered both the Invocation and the Benediction. He stepped in to take over for the Reverend Dr. Charles R. Vogeley, who was unable to attend due to a family emergency. Supervisor Kaiman announced all the dignitaries in attendance including Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, sitting in for Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, James Reed, former North Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Robert J. Valli, North Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Rocco Iannarelli, councilmen Angelo Ferrara, Thomas Dwyer, Fred Pollack, councilwomen Lee Seeman and Maria Poons.
Then each councilperson read off the names of those who were lost in their town due to the terrorist attack on New York City. They are:
Christy Addamo, New Hyde Park
Robert Baiewaiter, Albertson
Janice Blaney, Williston Park
Michael Boyle, Westbury
Richard Brueshert, Westbury
Michael John Cahill, East Williston
Roko Camaj, Manhasset
Paul Casio, Manhasset
William Chalcoff, Roslyn
Neil James Cudmore, Port Washington
Thomas P. Deangelis, Westbury
Jospeh Dickey, Manhasset
Christopher J. Dunne, Mineola
Robert Eaton, Manhasset
Robert J. Foti, Albertson
Brett O. Frieman, Roslyn
Arlene Fried, Roslyn Heights
Steven Giorgetti, Manhasset
Wade Brian Green, Westbury
Matthew J. Grzymalski, New Hyde Park
Jennifer L. Howley, New Hyde Park
Michael H. Haub, Roslyn Heights
Robert Hussa, Roslyn
Jonathan Lee Ielpi, Great Neck
Robert Thomas Jordan, Williston Park
Timothy C. Kelly, Port Washington
Frederic Kuo, Port Washington
Peter J. Langone, Roslyn Heights
Thomas Langone, Williston Park
Richard Y.C. Lee, Great Neck
Jeffrey Earle LeVeen, Manhasset
Michael F. Lynch, New Hyde Park
Joseph Maio, Roslyn Harbor
Justin McCarthy, Port Washington
Marcus Neblett, Roslyn Heights
Gerald M. Olcott, New Hyde Park
Peter J. Owens, Williston Park
Dipti Patel, New Hyde Park
Christopher Quackenbush, Manhasset
Gregory Reda, New Hyde Park
Donald Robson, Manhasset
Frank Salvaterra, Manhasset
Michael Seaman, Manhasset
Donald F. Spaminato, Manhasset
John Anthony Spafaro, Mineola
Matthew Gilbert Vianna, Manhasset
Joshua Vitale, Great Neck
Mitchell Scott Wallace, Mineola
Dinah Webster, Port Washington
Donna Wilson, Williston Park
The ceremony ended in silence and as everyone left they were encouraged to “plant” the small American flag they were given either at the very handsome Memorial 911 Rock or somewhere on the most beautiful grounds of Clark Botanic Garden.