Led by bagpiper Denis Clark, members of the , Ladies Auxiliary and junior firefighters marched into Saturday for a ceremony to honor the 10 year anniversary of those who had perished in the September 11 attacks.
As members of the 25th Marine Regiment, Second Battalion presented the colors, as the sun faded, Mineola residents lit candles for a vigil as part of the memorial service.
“On this day, this anniversary of terror, loss and grief, come upon us in might,” Rev. Chester Easton of the implored of the Almighty. “Only you can make sense of the messiness of our world and our lives. We gather this evening to remember that 10 years ago attacks did occur and many lives were lost and lives were changed in numerous and many ways, often very painful. And we ask... in the 10 years since then and for every year that we go forward we would find in you our strength... and comfort and help.”
Commander Sal Cataldo and members of the Mineola American Legion and Steve Stolarik from the Mineola Fire Department presented a pair wreaths during the service which were placed on either side of the September 11th memorial for those who lost their lives and those who led the recovery efforts at Ground Zero. Mineola VFW Commander Manny Grilo also presented the village with a 9/11 commemorative flag for the 10th anniversary.
“Office workers, regular people turned town the chance to save themselves to help others, a decision they made knowing it may cost them their lives and it did; that was the greatness,” , himself a first responder, said. “The day has become known as the greatest rescue mission in the history of the United States, and possibly the world. The police, fire, EMS personnel, many of whom are in this audience tonight, fought and died that day; they gave of their lives so that others may live.”
However, Strauss said that it is his belief that “the real heroes of September 11 are still being made.”
Pointing to a ceremony at Friday, Strauss recalled seeing Joanne Langone, wife of Peter Langone who perished in the attacks while saving others and their daughter, Caitlin, now 22. “It’s hard for me to imagine having to ask a virtual stranger to tell you stories about your own father,” Strauss said, recalling how Caitlin’s eyes lit up when he shared stories about her father with her.
During the ceremony students unveiled a phrase Strauss said was “more fitting” of 9/11 than in years past: “We honor, we help, we heal.”
“Those simple words sum up everything of 9/11,” Strauss said. “We must never forget the tragic events of September 11 and just as importantly we must always honor and cherish the greatness it unleashed.”
Following a series of rifle volleys from the 11th NY Regiment of the U.S. Volunteers and the playing of taps on the bugle by Mineola resident Lt. Cmdr. Danilo Ortiz of the U.S. Navy and John Waters of Buglers Across America for playing taps, residents were invited to extinguish the candles in a basket in front of the memorial as Clark played “Amazing Grace.”