Riverhead Town officials laid a wreath today at the World Trade Center memorial in Calverton to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Riverhead Chief of Police David Hegermiller read the “Anniversary Prayer for 9/11” written by Jesuit Brother Darrell Burns.
“Let us resolve that in the face of hatred, we will show love; That in times of despair, we will be voices of hope and creators of new dreams; That in times of darkness, we will be sources of light,” the chief prayed. “Let us resolve that we never regard forgiveness as weakness, but rather as a source of strength in our lives and in our world.”
Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, a 20-year NYPD veteran who responded to Ground Zero, recalled some of what she saw at the site after the towers fell.
“During the course of my 20-year career with the NYPD, my counterparts and I trained for many hours in every type of emergency response, from crisis intervention to large scale acts of terrorism. No amount of training could have prepared any of us for the events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001,” she said.
“Three thousand men and women left their homes on a beautiful, clear September morning not knowing they would never see their loved ones again. Many others left their homes as ordinary citizens, only to perish hours later as heroes helping others evacuate. Four hundred first responders ran into the Twin Towers with the intention of saving others, but never returned to their families. Thousands more were injured and continue to live in fear of medical complications,” Aguiar said.
“In the days following, we witnessed communities come together in solidarity to grieve, but also to strengthen and unify our country. The memories of America’s worst day in history are indelible and remain ingrained in our minds forever,” Aguiar said.
“We lay this wreath in remembrance of the lives lost on that day, but also, to remind us of our country’s great strength and resilience even in times of uncertainty and turmoil,” the supervisor said.
Council members Jodi Giglio, Tim Hubbard Catherine Kent and Frank Beyrodt shared their personal memories of that fateful day and its aftermath.
Hubbard, a retired Riverhead Town police officer, recalled the feeling of unity in the United States after the terrorist attacks.
“People really came together,” he said, expressing his wish that Americans could rekindle the unified spirit. “Here we are 19 years later and everything is so divided.”
The World Trade Center Memorial at the corner of Edwards and Riley avenues in Calverton, dedicated in 2002, was the result of a grassroots effort led by Calverton resident Hal Lindstrom. Read about its history here.
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