Shoreham-Wading River Column: A moving 9/11 memorial

09/22/2011 1:24 PM |

Shoreham Fire Company No. 3, the Rocky Point Fire Department, had a beautiful ceremony on Sept. 11 to honor those lost in the 2001 terrorist attacks. After an invocation by the chaplain, the site, those lost and those who made the memorial possible were blessed. After Shoreham Troop 161 color guard opened the ceremony, Congressman Tim Bishop presented an American flag that had flown at the Capitol. Former Chief Tom Logan had former Chief Ray Strong release one of four wreaths into the reflecting pool: the first for those lost with the collapse of the first tower, the second for those lost in the second tower’s collapse, the third for those who gave their lives to divert a plane headed for Washington and the fourth for those lost at the Pentagon.

Following statements by Ms. Bishop and Kenneth LaValle, Mike and Pat Williams, 40-year residents of Shoreham who live a quarter-mile from the site, spoke of the memory of their son Kevin, a Shoreham-Wading River High School graduate, an incredible athlete, a magna cum laude college graduate and a bond salesman in one of the towers. The land at the corner of Route 25A and Tesla Street was familiar to Kevin and would now act as a place of peace for the Williams family.

“Numerous times he passed this corner on his way to get pizza in his Blazer, as he drove to and from school and when he visited his fiancée in Wading River,” Mr. Williams said. “Just as our country came together as one that day, we continue to show our character and resolve today with these 9/11 memorials that show us the significance of 9/11. … America’s greatness is not measured in the heights of its buildings, but it can be calculated from the hearts of its people.”

Former Chief Steve Tumulty quoted former President Abraham Lincoln: “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long stand.”

Deborah Handel, surrounded by hundreds who stood with candles lit from the flame of remembrance, concluded the ceremony by counting off each event of Sept. 11, with the crowd responding, “We remember.”

God bless all those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and all those who worked to make this 9/11 memorial site a beautiful landmark and place to pray and reflect.

Be well until we meet here again next week.