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Town of Deerpark, NY -- We will never forget!

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

TOWN OF DEERPARK, NY – Firefighters, EMS, police, dignitaries and survivors of loved ones and colleagues lost on 9-11-2001 gathered at the Town of Deerpark Town Hall this month for a 21st Memorial Tribute of remembrance. Like communities across the nation, and around the world, Deerpark’s Town Board has pledged to always remember the actions of that day and those that followed.

A steel beam, an American flag, and a World Trade Center flag, all from Ground Zero, remain at the Town Hall, with a Memorial Tree of bows for victims. These powerful symbols frame the annual service each year, where dozens of uniformed emergency responders and others come together as a community.

Two retired New York City firefighters, and one other individual, spoke following remarks by dignitaries.

Retired New York City Firefighter Joe Rennish, who has remained an active local volunteer firefighter into his 80s, trained many of the young firefighter ‘probies’ who perished in 2001. Rennish readily recalls each of them and the painful experiences of his own recovery work at Ground Zero. Rennish has called for a 9-11 Memorial Day, similar to Pearl Harbor Day. He cited thousands who died on 9-11 and others who continue to die from its health effects.

Retired NYC Firefighter Chris Edwards also recalls colleagues who died on 9-11, and actions and efforts that followed. He urged everyone, especially children and young Americans, to continue to remember the horrible things that happened that day, but to also remember the greatness, unity, and kindness that followed.

The third citizen speaker recalled the bravery of passengers who sacrificed their own lives as they took back control, halting the violent actions and intended path of four terrorist hijackers on their plane.

Town of Deerpark Supervisor Gary Spears introduced participants and thanked musicians, school students, speakers, emergency responders, and other community members for standing together each September 11. Town Clerk Flo Santini, organizer, found herself glancing skyward after everyone had left. She, along with Spears and others, reaffirmed her pledge to never forget, not for as long as she lives.

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SHARON SIEGELSenior Correspondent

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