Written by Rick Karas Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00It was a solemn day in Mineola last Tuesday, as the village held a ceremony a Memorial Park to remember those lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
It was the 11th anniversary of that fateful day, also on a Tuesday, and the similarities were not lost on the featured speaker of the evening. Eleven years ago, terror struck the nation on a brisk, cloudless day. The weather was eerily similar last week.
“Anyone who was alive at the time will remember it was a beautiful day, an endless blue sky,” said Legislator Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park). “And ever since, any time of day like this after a long summer just brings back so many memories of that terrible day.”
They came together in the spirit of Mineola: members of the Mineola Fire Department, the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Boy Scout Troop 45, local war veterans and residents young and old.
It’s the younger set that state Senator Jack Martins is concerned about, their being able to understand the significance of 9/11. He has pushed for legislation that would make 9/11 part of the core curriculum taught in schools, right there in history books alongside all of the other seminal events in our nation’s history.
“We do have children who are growing up in a post-9/11 world that don’t necessarily have an understanding of the importance of those events... a lot of the events that have happened [in our world] since 9/11 relate back to the events of that day,” Martins said.
While the thousands of victims of 9/11 were in people’s hearts and minds, so too were those left behind; spouses, children, coworkers and friends still mourning those they lost.
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss was a 9/11 first responder who retired in 2004 as a detective with a distinguished 20-year career in the New York City Police Department.
“The true heroes are yet to be made, and those are the kids who were left behind,” said Strauss. “They still had to get up the next morning, go to work and back to school... and they’ve had to do it under the most trying of circumstances, we can’t ever forget those people.”
And that was the message that united all in attendance at Memorial Park, all those who stood silent as “taps” was played, and members of the American Legion laid the ceremonial wreath at the 9/11 monument: Never forget.