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A soulful ceremony on Sept. 11 in Oyster Bay

(excerpt from by Elissa Dragotto)

Finding comfort among friends, family and strangers, residents memorialized those who perished on the 22nd anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 on Monday. Twenty-four residents from the hamlet died that day during the worst terrorist attack on American soil when members of al Qaeda engaged in a series of airline hijackings with one targeting Manhattan’s World Trade Center.

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, one of the speakers, said that heroes come in many forms – in sports, music, government — but that those serving to protect others from harm, members of the fire and police departments, who lost so many members that day, are the real heroes.

“Members of the Oyster Bay Fire Company and Atlantic Steamer are the kinds of people who are willing to run into danger when the rest of us run away,” Saladino said. “There’s another group of people who wish they weren’t here to show us the meaning of strength. They are here to honor the loved ones they lost.”

The ceremony, which is usually held at the memorial on West End Avenue, was moved due to heavy rain to Atlantic Steamer’s fire building in Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. But the rain did not discourage people from attending. The room was filled to capacity with some standing in the doorway.

Sen. Jack Martins hosted the ceremony, taking over for former Sen. Carl Marcellino who was ill. The retired senator originated the idea to host a local ceremony many years ago acquiring a state grant to create the memorial on West End Avenue.


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