Tags Posts tagged with "9/11 memorial"

9/11 memorial

Members of the Mount Sinai Fire Department during a 9/11 memorial service on Monday night, Sept. 11. Photo by Raymond Janis

Outside the Mount Sinai Fire Department at dusk on Monday night, Sept. 11, members of the Mount Sinai Fire Department held their annual commemoration for those who perished on that date 22 years earlier.

Firefighters gathered at the department’s 9/11 memorial, surrounded by family and community members, where they reflected upon the memory of those who died, recognizing the sacrifice of the first responders who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Chief Randy Nelson presides over the Mount Sinai Fire Department’s annual 9/11 memorial service. Photo by Raymond Janis

Department chaplain Micky Nassauer delivered the evening’s invocation, outlining the purpose of this annual occasion.

“On this solemn day of remembrance, may we honor the lives that were lost in this tragic act, and may we give thanks to those who served and saved,” he said.

Chief of Department Randy Nelson performed the annual bell ringing ceremony, which rang out in honor of the 343 New York City Fire Department members who laid down their lives in the line of service.

“We honor their supreme sacrifice,” Nelson said, “On this day and every day.”

Photo by Raymond Janis

In an address to the department, Nelson chronicled the events on that Tuesday morning as they transpired in real time. Despite the darkness and the destruction unleashed upon the city and nation, he maintained that the nation has persevered, offering a new approach to reflect upon that moment in history.

“The words ‘Never forget’ have become synonymous with September 11,” the fire chief said. “But as stated today by one of the victims’ family members, ‘Always remember’ is really the better approach.”

He advised, “Keep your memory of that day as a way to remember all that were lost.”

From left, T.J. Hatter, Long Island director of intergovernmental affairs for New York State Attorney General Letitia James; former New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright; Anthony Rotoli Jr., president of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Vigiano Brothers Lodge 3436; and Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich. Photo by Raymond Janis

Rain couldn’t halt the annual memorial service held on Monday, Sept. 11, in downtown Port Jefferson.

The Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Vigiano Brothers Lodge 3436 hosts this event each year. The vigil honors the lives of brothers John and Joseph Vigiano, who died from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

Traditionally held outdoors in Harborfront Park, this year’s iteration moved to the Village Center’s drier interior, a last-minute accommodation courtesy of the Village of Port Jefferson.

“I don’t care if it was raining or not raining, we were going to get this done,” said Anthony Rotoli Jr., president of the lodge.

Lodge members, community residents, faith leaders and public officials gathered for a ceremony of prayer and reflection. Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook), former New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and T.J. Hatter, Long Island director of intergovernmental affairs for New York State Attorney General Letitia James (D), each addressed the audience in turn.

T.J. Hatter, Long Island director of intergovernmental affairs for New York State Attorney General Letitia James, speaks during a Sept. 11 memorial service at the Port Jefferson Village Center. Photo by Raymond Janis

Of the many annual events Kornreich attends, he referred to 9/11 memorial services as “the most solemn and most painful.” Despite the lingering pain over two decades later, the councilmember maintained that the nation has endured.

“Although that day was a day of terror and sorrow and tragedy, the days that followed became days of community, hope and resolve,” he said.

In the face of tragedy, Hatter maintained that “inspiration can come from many places.” He asked those present to apply the examples of service and selflessness exhibited on 9/11 to their daily lives.

“Hope is real,” he said. “There is no such thing as false or too much hope. There is only hope. As we remember those who were lost that day, I want to thank you all for being here to help keep that hope alive.”

Englebright offered that services such as these can keep the memory of the 9/11 fallen heroes alive.

“We must never forget, always remember, and always give thanks to those who ran into the buildings and up the stairway into heaven on behalf of all of us,” he said. “The rain is the tears from heaven today.”

From left, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s Christopher Smith, Ava Romonoyske, Joshua Kwon, Evan Monaghan, Andi Kelly, Mari Fukuto, Marco Puopolo, Kay Moran and Michael Caravello. Photo courtesy PJSD

Members of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s music department paid tribute to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, by giving a moving performance during the Port Jefferson Fire Department’s annual 9/11 memorial service. 

The students, led by Michael Caravello, director of music and fine arts, performed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America” and taps.

Photo by Kimberly Brown

Middle Country Central School District honored 9/11 with a performance by their fifth grade class, who sign languaged to the song “God Bless America.”

Music teacher Rebecca Schaarschmidt overcame the digital divide that was created due to digital learning. The students have been practicing their sign language since the end of last year and were very excited to perform for their peers in the first, second, third and fourth grade on Friday, Sept. 10 at Oxhead Road School.

“It took them about three or four practices to really get it down,” Schaarschmidt said. “Then we picked it up again when school started, and really only had two days to pull the whole thing together.”

Making sure that all fifth graders were able to participate, Schaarschmidt combined students who were in person last year as well as the students who attended school virtually. She was able to teach the sign language both virtually and in-person. 

“The students were very restricted last year, we had to be six-feet a part in order to sing together and we just didn’t have the space for that,” she said. “So, I was trying to think of a creative way to have the students be able to make music without using their voices which is why I decided to go ahead and teach them the sign language.”

Growing up in the Middle Country School District herself, Schaarschmidt remembers performing a 9/11 memorial with her choir during high school every year. Wanting to translate that tradition into the elementary school, she decided to teach the fifth graders how to perform.

“I think learning about 9/11 in schools is really important because it’s a part of our history,” she said. “These kids were not alive when it happened, so I wanted them to know what happened on that day and who the heroes were as well as who was able to help protect our country.”

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Dozens of people came together to remember September 11, 2001 last week during the Port Jefferson Fire Department’s annual 9/11 memorial early Saturday morning.

Port Jefferson firefighters, EMS and juniors lined up to salute three wreaths placed at the foot of the monument, while the names of Town of Brookhaven first responders who perished during the attacks were read. A bell rang every time a name was said. 

Port Jefferson School District music teacher Christian Neubert and students Kasumi Layne-Stasik and Andrew Patterson paid tribute to those who lost their lives with several moving musical performances. 

Photo from Long Island Photography Studio

Saturday night, both the Selden Fire Department and the Centereach Fire Department hosted two separate September 11, 2001 memorials at their fire houses. 

Dozens of people came together to remember the victims, who left behind their lives and legacy 20 years ago to the day of the attacks.

During their event, the Selden Fire Department honored Captain Nicholas Chiofalo and other Selden Community members who lost their lives on 9/11.

Ex-Chief Michael Matteo led the members of the Selden community through a ceremony that would memorialize the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. 

Wreaths were placed at the both departments 9/11 monuments.

Joe Cognitore with members of the Rocky Point VFW Post 6249. Photo from Joe Cognitore

 Commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 has had a big impact on Joseph Cognitore, a Rocky Point resident who is  commander of the local VFW Post 6249. 

On the day of 9/11, he was working at the Coca-Cola distribution center in Hauppauge when he and his co-workers heard two planes had hit the World Trade Center towers. 

At first thought, he figured it was something similar to the Empire State Building accident in 1945 — when a B-52 bomber crashed into the building in thick fog.

As the September 2001 morning progressed, TV announcers said loud and clear that this was an attack on America. Feelings of anxiety, frustration and pent-up emotion overcame Cognitore, bringing back his memories of Vietnam.

“I vividly remember the quiet and serenity of all the people just milling around, not knowing what to do,” he said. “The whole area was quiet and full of blank stares and disbelief.”

Some of Cognitore’s high school friends who worked in the World Trade Center, as well as fire department personnel, perished in the attacks. 

One of his friends with whom he graduated and played ball with, Peter Ganci, held the rank of chief of department for the New York City Fire Department and was last seen on the day of 9/11. 

“I didn’t know it at the time, but later that day I found out he had passed,” Cognitore said. “When the towers fell he was with Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He told the mayor to go one way, but he wanted to go back with his men the other way, and that’s when he perished.”

As a veteran who works on legislative committees for the VFW on state and national levels, Cognitore has been pleading with U.S. Congress to pass the defense budget. However, he said the budget never gets passed or is pushed to the side.

“We need to get better security and better defenses, and I’m not confident that’s happening,” he said.

Despite this obstacle, Cognitore believes it’s extremely important for younger generations to learn the history of 9/11. Every year he makes an appearance at Rocky Point High School, along with other guests, to discuss the tragic day as well as honor servicemen.

“I know when I was in high school and went to assemblies we laughed and giggled and didn’t pay too much attention to what was going on,” he said. “The assembly they do at Rocky Point High School you can hear a pin drop. I mean the tension is there.”

When the commander was a child, his grandfather would take him to various monuments around Long Island to pay respects to America’s fallen heroes, and said this memory has stuck with him his whole life.

“I always remember going with my grandfather to monuments and it had such an impact on me as a child,” Cognitore said. “I think what my grandfather did with me should still carry over to other generations because it taught me about respect.”

by -
0 644
Photo by Stefanie Handshaw

Dozens of people came together to remember September 11, 2001 last week at the Sound Beach Fire Department’s annual 9/11 memorial.

On Saturday morning, 20 years to the day of the attacks, local first responders lined up to pay their respects to victims and their families.

A bell was rung 13 times in memory of those lost.

This article was updated to resolve previously published mistakes.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

The Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Vigiano Brothers Lodge 3436 gathered in Harborfront Park Saturday morning to remember two Long Island brothers who perished during the September 11 attacks.

Joseph, a police officer, and John, a firefighter, were among the nearly 500 Long Islanders who died 20 years ago on 9/11. Both brothers were from Deer Park.

Every year, the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America host a candlelight vigial to remember the lives of the Vigiano brothers and the other first responders who lost their lives that day.

Photo by Nicole Waldemar

Zebra Tech employees, who are also first responders, gathered on Friday, Sept. 10 at 9:45 a.m. to remember their fellow service members who lost their lives during September 11, 2001.

During the event, Zebra Emergency Response Team members came in uniform, including Scout Master Jeff Weissman, Sound Beach Fire Department Chief Darran Handshaw, Terryville Fire Department Ex-Captain Martin Sebel, Rocky Point Fire Department firefighter David Singer, Middle Island Fire Department Ex-Chief Craig Tunjian, and Sayville Community Ambulance 2nd Assistant Chief Liz White.

Weissman spoke about how his scout troop worked with Symbol (now part of Zebra Tech) employees at the building to gather 180,000 bottles of water that were trucked into Ground Zero to support the rescue and recovery efforts.