Westchester County Marks 22nd Anniversary of September 11 at Annual Ceremony at the Rising Memorial
On the 22nd anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Westchester County Executive George Latimer led County residents in a solemn ceremony to remember and honor the lives lost during that tragic day and the subsequent years due to 9/11 related illnesses. The event, held at the Kensico Dam Plaza overlooking the iconic Rising Memorial and the Westchester County 9/11 First Responders Memorial, served as a poignant reminder of the indomitable spirit of the Westchester community.
This year, seven new names were added to 9/11 First Responders Memorial for those who died of 9/11 related illnesses in the years after the attack. Those names are: Lieutenant Richard H. Eifler, Yonkers Fire Department; Captain John J. Fasciglione, Yonkers Fire Department; Police Communications Technician Marian C. Grillo, NYPD; Lieutenant Peter Mccaffrey, Yonkers Fire Department; Chief Brian M. Payne, Larchmont Fire Department & Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department; Deputy Chief Vincent Spadaro, Eastchester Fire Department; and DRC Mildred M. Wordsman, FEMA.
County Executive George Latimer said: “As we gather here to pay our respects and remember those we lost, let us also remember the strength and unity that emerged from the ashes of 9/11. It is through our collective memory and our shared resolve that we find hope, resilience and the power to heal.”
The ceremony, emceed by NBC4 Reporter Lynda Baquero, was marked by moving speeches, solemn prayers and musical performances. It commenced with a procession featuring the Westchester County Department of Public Safety Ceremonial Unit Color Guard, the Pipes and Drums of the Police Emerald Society of Westchester County, and representatives from various fire departments throughout the County followed by the National Anthem performed by Westchester County Department of Public Safety PO Sarina Taverner and the Pledge of Allegiance led by City of White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong.
The laying of a wreath, symbolizing honor and remembrance, was conducted by Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, Department of Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie, Acting Department of Public Safety Commissioner Terrance Raynor and New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Religious leaders offered prayers at the ceremony, including Rabbi Dina Rosenberg from Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor, Arun Bhagirath from the Hindu Temple of Tri-State in White Plains, Imam Shaffieq Chace from the Westchester Muslim Center and Reverend Dr. Stephen W. Pogue from the Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church in Mount Vernon.
Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Vedat Gashi delivered remarks, emphasizing the importance of coming together as a community to remember and strengthen their bonds.
The ceremony concluded with the reading of the names of Westchester residents killed on 9/11 and those who have passed away from 9/11 related illnesses. This somber moment was a moving reminder of the enduring impact of the September 11th attacks on the Westchester community.
The Westchester County 9/11 ceremony culminated with a moment of silence followed by “Taps” performed by Mount Pleasant Police Officer Peter Blume and a flyover by the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, serving as a tribute to the fallen.