Honoring W.P. residents, all others who died on 9/11

Paul Ehbar

This past Monday, I attended both the North Hempstead and Williston Park 9/11 ceremonies. Below his the short message I delivered at Kelleher Field:

“Good evening dignitaries, clergy, residents and most importantly honored families in attendance (Wilson family and McGuire family), on this somber occasion of the remembrance of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11,

I’m honored on this day to represent the Village of Williston Park .With me today is Deputy Mayor Kevin Rynne and trustees Terry Thomann and Mike Uttaro.

I’d like to take this opportunity acknowledge former Deputy Mayor Bill Darmstadt and his 9/11 committee.

Ten years ago Bill had an idea and worked to initially set up the memorial garden and this program. He has continued to make improvements with both the garden and this annual.

John Hogan has been the presenter from the beginning and has done an excellent job handling this function. Kevin Kelly, Chris Page and Mike Travernite round out the group that ensures a continuation of honoring those lost at 911.

I thank all those who have come today to pay their respects and those groups who have participated in the program.

While this is truly a national tragedy, the horrendous event has impacted local areas throughout the U.S, and the world including our own Village of Williston Park.

Besides honoring all those affected by 9/11, today we specifically are honoring those six members and their families of our community who lost their lives that day. I can only image the anguish, which continues to this day, of those who lost family members and loved ones that day

Close to 3,000 individuals lost their lives in the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that day.

Their families were impacted and continued to be impacted by this horrific event. However, 16 years later individuals and families continue to be impacted as a result of illnesses contracted by first responders and the number of deaths continues to climb.

As I have repeated over the past eight years that this day should always held as a day of remembrance and respect. Commercialism should never play a role as Veterans Day and Memorial days have become sale days in our stores.

Two comments I have heard dealing with the anniversary of 9/11 have bothered me immensely.

Various commentators have referred to the celebration of 9/11 and the festivities of 9/11. Neither word is anywhere near appropriate. We remember and honor those who lost their lives and their families.

Although this country and its citizens have been permanently scared the annual memorial is a major factor in the healing process. We will never celebrate or hold festivities on this date.

I stared today in Manhasset at the North Hempstead 9/11 ceremony. As I looked towards a beautiful blue sky images of the two planes flying into the World Trade Center came to mind.

I realized that many of the youngsters performing here today were not even born when 9/11 occurred. A senior in high school was two years old and a college senior six years old.

It is imperative, as we move forward, to educate our youth, so that the tragedy of the event of that day does not lose it significance to the history of our country

Therefore we must continue to honor all those families impacted by this event including those who continue to suffer as a result of 9/11.

Say a prayer for those who perished that dreadful day, their families as they continue to suffer and for those individuals and their families who continue to battle illness related to 9/11

God bless them, our Armed Forces, First responders, and all those involved in the ongoing war on terrorism and God bless America.”

On an unrelated note, I would like to pass along some valuable information provide by Nassau County.

Thefts from cars have continued to increase throughout the county. To avoid becoming a victim, all should follow these following simple tips. Always lock your car no matter where it’s parked.

Never leave valuables in the vehicle. When possible park your car in a locked garage. Close all windows when car is parked. Keep the exterior of homes and driveways well illuminated.

If you or someone you know has a car broken into contact the Nassau County Police Dept. through the 911 system.

Remember Sunday Sept. 17 is Williston Day!

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Paul Ehbar

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