Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00
The Town of Hempstead held their annual remembrance service on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 a.m., at Town Park, Point Lookout. Year after year, the town invites residents to the place where hundreds first gathered to mark one fateful day in the nation’s history. Residents wrote messages and names of victims on a 35-foot mural of the New York City skyline, the “Heroes of 9/11 Panorama,” set beside a 15-foot-tall shadow box image of the fallen towers.
Approximately 1,500 participants were in attendance; many of them cast white carnations into a reflecting pool located at the base of a 30-foot steel remnant from the fallen towers. Attendants included families of the victims, clergy members, firefighters, police, rescue workers and the common citizen. Also in attendance was Russell Siller, the brother of Stephen Siller, a heroic firefighter who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to reach the burning Twin Towers.
“This morning, we remember those Americans who were killed on that fateful day 11 years ago, honoring their memory and the legacy they left behind,” said Town Supervisor Kate Murray. “Today is also an opportunity to reflect, pay tribute and honor the heroes who died that day. It is also an appropriate occasion to celebrate the legacy of love left to us by the victims of the terrorist attacks.”
Inspiring words were also offered by Father Douglas R. Arcoleo, of Our Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church in Freeport; Rabbi Kenneth Hain, of Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence; and the Reverend Eric Mallete, of the Greater Second Baptist Church in Freeport.
Point Lookout—Lido Fire Department served as Color Guard for the ceremony, while their department, along with the Levittown, Woodmere, Lakeview, Seaford and Rockville Centre Fire Departments, which provided honor arches across the beach entrance.
Murray thanked the many community leaders and organizations that participated in this year’s program. The Gregorian Consortium of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale performed musical selections during the service. Dee’s Nursery of Oceanside, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, the Salvation Army and Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology sponsored the event.