VALHALLA, N.Y. – Each anniversary of Sept. 11 should be a call to service, not just a reflection on the past, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said.
“Evil rained down on us on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, leaving behind death and destruction,” Astorino said. “But we know that it was love, courage and compassion that won that day. Ordinary people did extraordinary things.”
Several hundred people gathered at dusk in Kensico Dam Plaza to honor the 109 Westchester County citizens who died as a result of 9/11. The county's memorial, The Rising, illuminated slowly as night fell and county officials read the names of those who died 11 years ago.
Members of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the Pipes and Drums of the Police Emerald Society of Westchester and Hawthorne Boy Scout Troop 1 marched to honor the 9/11 victims before Astorino and Rosaleen O'Neill, a 9/11 family member, placed a wreath before the memorial.
Ned McCormack, Westchester County director of communications, said The Rising had been designed as a place for prayer, reflection and an invitation to look towards a better future.
“It is in that spirit that we gather today,” he said.
County Board of Legislators Chair Ken Jenkins said he hoped the new Freedom Tower rising in place of the World Trade Center would serve “as a reminder for all of us never to forget the loss and sacrifice made by Americans joined together.”
“Together we will never lose the strength and fortitude that helped us live through that horrendous day,” he said. “I pray for peace and hope that it prevails in our lives to the fullest extent.”
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