Written by Michael Scro Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00
Ex-chief John Casey opened the ceremony with a prayer, saying: “We gather today to recall the events of September 11. We lift up to you, all the people who died in 9/11...those who died in the attacks, those who responded, those who now fight in wars as a result of that dark day, and those who are still mourning the loss of their loved ones every day.”
Standing beside the podium was Deputy Mayor and Fire Commissioner John Watras, NY State Senator Kemp Hannon, Trustee and former Fire Commissioner Nicholas Episcopia, Trustee Andrew Cavanaugh, Trustee Donnelly, Trustee DeMaro, Trustee Brian Daughney, Trustee and Firefighter Larry Quinn, Village Administrator Robert Schoelle, Village Clerk and Ex-Chief Brian Ridgway, Police Commissioner Kenneth Jackson and Special Police Captain David Carpentier.
Fire Department Chief Charles Cavarra spoke at the ceremony, saying: “It’s time to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children we lost and the families they left behind. It’s a chance to honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives that day, and every day since.” Acknowledging the coverage on news stations about 9/11, Chief Cavarra said, “It’s there because it exists, and it’s part of us.”
Referring to Garden City’s lost 23 residents, Chief Cavarra said this memorial “is about them,” and asked everyone to take some time out and reflect upon those events 11 years ago. “Every new day begins with new possibilities, it’s up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace,” Chief Cavarra said.
Second Assistant Chief Joe Nadoly spoke about a time before the Internet and telephones, when fire departments used telegraphs to communicate. When a firefighter was killed, or a member of the military or public safety fell in the line of duty, the fire alarm office would tap out a special signal, known today as the ‘tolling of the bell.’ “It is a sign of respect and honor for all the firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service to their communities,” Nadoly said.
Each of the 23 names were read aloud as a member of the fire department set a rose down in a glass in front of the 9/11 memorial monument at the village green. For each name, the ‘tolling of the bell’ was heard.