WPCNR CITY HALL CIRCUIT. By John F. Bailey. September12, 2012:
White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach conducted two 9/11 Commemoration Ceremonies ago yesterday. recalling the horror of the World Trade Center attack eleven years ago yesterday.
He struck the right emotional message commemorating that infamous day; comforting those gathered who lost loved ones, and thoughtfully constructing a enduring legacy of how we can or should live going forward.
In an 8 A.M. observance Tuesday at a pristine and tranquil Liberty Park, the Mayor noted how those gathered in the awesome sunlight yesterday were struck by how similar the day was to September11,2001: “what stood out that day was the day…They (the people) felt good because of the beautiful day. We will never forget how we felt that day. “
Mayor Roach said that each generation has a day they remember with overwhelming sadness. Pearl Harbor. For his generation it was the day President John Kennedy was shot. For this generation it was 9/11. He observed “for the next generation, I hope they have no day they cannot forget.”
He recalled the bravery of the first responders who lost their lives. He spoke of the victims, and ordinary citizens “how we all came together through the pain and aftermath and remembered in the end, we are all Americans. That for me is very important.”
Roach said the monument in Liberty Park inscribed with the names of White Plains residents killed in the attack on the Twin Towers: Sharon Balkom, Marisa Dinardo, Hemanth Kumar Puttur, Joe Riverso, Gregory Rodriguez and Linda Sheehan, was designed by the sculptor, Gayle Nauls, so persons visiting the site would “find peace in this beautiful vista and commemorate their memory with simple dignity.”
Rabbi Lester Bronstein opened with a prayer with an enhanced reading of the 23rd Psalm, where instead of walking in the shadow death, he substituted “as I go up the stairs,” emphasing the faith that responders, rescuers and victims alike demonstrated that horrible day.
In closing the ceremony, Rabbi Bronstein commented on the simple marble memorial as being a place persons could “sit and contemplate what it means to be alive.”
He said from that horrible act, came “thousands of acts of good works done by our citizens on that day,” and the legacy of 9/11 was “to build a better world.”
He then sounded the shofar to end the ceremony.
Color Guard Awaits Start of Noon Ceremony
At noon in Renaissance Square the Mayor conducted a ceremony to recognize the sacrifices of first responders, firemen, police and emergency responders who selflessly attempted to save the victims of “this horrible act.”
The ceremony was highlighted by readings of two poems one by fireman Anthony Scopellitti (above), “Where Is My Buddy?” recalling the anguish of comrades lost that day
White Plains Police Officer Edward Calvano (above) who recited a poem written in memory of the 60 police officers killed that day, 37 Port Authority Police and 23 New York City Police Officers. The poems simple lines were glowing with meaning:
They chose to go where others rushed away, into the horrors
They did not die in vain
They died that day doing what they loved to do.
Guitarist Gene Matero sang songs that gently brought back bittersweet memories and good feelings. His “I just Called to Say I love you,” ironic but comforting recalled the thousands of frantic calls of that day, “Susan the plans they made put an end to you, but I always thought I’d see you again,” in a soothing touch recalled those losses never to be forgotten, of course, in a positive way. The ceremony ended with God Bless America and My Country Tis of Thee.