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Oyster Bay Marks 9/11

A unique American Flag of Honor made with the names of all those who died on September 11, 2001 made clear why people were gathering at the Oyster Bay 9/11 Memorial Garden this year. It was the first time the event was held at dusk and was to have included a candle lighting—but the winds off the bay eliminated the use of fire. It was the first time the Oyster Bay Community Band performed at the annual event, although the bagpiper John Delaney also returned.

The timing was auspicious as the crowd was the largest to date, even if it didn’t take off at 7 p.m. as expected.

“There is a boat on fire in Cold Spring Harbor and only half the men are here at the moment,” said Senator Carl Marcellino, whose staff organizes the annual event. He thanked Kathy Wilson, Charlotte Longo and Samantha Goetz for their organizational work, as well as the Town of Oyster Bay and the WaterFront Center.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, the Oyster Bay Community Band under the direction of Stephen Walker played "America the Beautiful."

The Reverend Jeffrey Prey of the First Presbyterian Church gave the invocation and the closing blessing. Pastor Ray Melograne of the North Shore Assembly of God gave the memorial prayer.

“Throughout our history, certain images become ingrained in our minds,” Marcellino said. “The clear blue sky and the sight of planes flying into the World Trade Center or the smoke rising from the Pentagon. These powerful images are enduring reminders.”

Handling Loss

Barbara Jackman was at the Oyster Bay candlelight ceremony with two of her grandchildren, Blake, 10 and Elle, 8. Her family created the Brooke Jackman Foundation, one of the many family foundations created in memory of those who died that day. Barbara added that after Hurricane Sandy, the nonprofit gave out 3,000 backpacks, and books were sent to the Island Park Library in Long Beach. They have recently donated backpacks to St. Dominic’s, to homeless shelters on Long Island and are running 11 literacy programs.

Remembering Our Own

Marcellino invited his associate in state government, Assemblyman Michael Montesano, to join him in reading the names on the memorial wall and as they were announced a bell was rung. Bagpiper John Delaney played Amazing Grace. The names read out were:

Joshua Todd Aron

Timothy Byrne

Christopher Ciafardini

Peter Victor Genco

Brooke Alexandra Jackman

Joseph A. Kelly

Thomas A. Mahon

Lester Vincent Marino

Edward J. Papa

Bernard E. Patterson

Laurence Polatsch

Bart J. Ruggiere

Jonathan S. Ryan

Francis John Sadocha

John “Pepe” Salerno

Adriance V. Scibetta

Christopher Paul Slattery

Michael Taddonio

Daniel P. Trant

Joshua S. Vitale

Andrew Steven Zucker

Originally Wilson worked with the 9/11 support group lead by Sister Patricia Gimblett of the St. Dominic Parish Outreach office in creating the memorial garden. “The families said, ‘We have no place to go to mourn,’ since the bodies were for the most part, not recovered,” she explains. “The memorial was completed in two years, in 2003 in time for the first memorial ceremony, [and] was designed with room for names to be added.” Last year they added the name of Lester Vincent Marino to the memorial wall; friends said L.V. Marino fished in Oyster Bay Harbor regularly and it was where he was the happiest. If anyone knows an Oyster Bay person who should be added, call the senator’s office at 922-1811.

This year there were over 100 people attending. There were 55 chairs set out; more chairs for the Oyster Bay Community Band; and a full contingent of Atlantic Steamer and Oyster Bay Firefighters stood during the ceremony.

The senator’s office was asked if they would display the Flag of Honor with all the names of those killed on it, and Kathy arranged for two Old Brookville police officers to hold the flag. Someone also placed a firefighter’s hat on the memorial wall.

As the event ended, the senator invited everyone to the Atlantic Steamer Fire Department Marine Facility for refreshments. In doing so they passed the Atlantic Steamer Memorial Garden, which has a piece of steel from the World Trade Towers, another 9/11 tribute.