It was a night of remembrance and reflection on Saturday as elected officials, first responders, veterans and residents gathered at the Memorial Garden behind Lynbrook Village Hall and at Memorial Park in Lynbrook to remember the lives lost on 9/11 in a solemn ceremony.
In Lynbrook, Mayor Alan Beach addressed those gathered at the event, recounting that it has been two decades, 20 years, 240 months and 7,300 days since 2,977 people were killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Lynbrook lost 20 residents in the attacks.
“We come together at this memorial and others across our area where those that perished are forever remembered and memorialized,” Beach said. “It not only serves as a place of remembrance, but as a place of learning and reflection for future generations to come. While nothing can ever bring back those we lost on that day, nothing will ever stop us from keeping their legacies alive. We are inspired by the bravery and heroism we witnessed.”
To begin the ceremony, Lynbrook Police Chief Brian Paladino and Lynbrook Fire Chief John Donald recited the Pledge of Allegience, which was followed by Toni-Ann Butler’s rendition of the national anthem. The Rev. Richard Stelter of Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church gave the invocation before Beach spoke and Deputy Mayor Mike Hawxhurst and Trustees Ann Marie Reardon, Robert Boccio and Laura Ryder read the names of those lost on that day.
Aidan Gordon performed the taps before the village led a moment of reflection and silence and the American Legion and NYPD Pipes and Drums then performed “Amazing Grace.” The Rev. Nathan Gasaway of Lynbrook Baptist Church offered the closing prayer, and Butler then performed “God Bless America,” which was followed by the shining of a beam of lights from Village Hall symbolizing the twin Ttowers and closing remarks from Beach.
Brian Brown, the captain of Truck Company for the LFD, and his wife, Renee, raised money to purchase the twin tower lights for the 9/11 event. More than 250 residents donated nearly $13,000 to purchase them after a year of fundraising. The village will use them every Sept. 11 to remember those who were lost.
“When those buildings fell, heroes rose,” Beach said. “Despite the evil that descended on us that day, we are forever moved by those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
Candles lit up the night at Memorial Park in East Rockaway on Saturday as the village remembered the lives lost on 9/11 on the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.
The ceremony began at 4 p.m. with the reading of all 2,977 people who were killed after the four planes were hijacked. Trustee Rich Bilello opened the remembrance ceremony at 7 p.m., and local veterans groups presented the colors before Bilello recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Madeline Mistretta and Sofia Valdebenito sang the national anthem, and Mayor Bruno Romano then addressed those gathered at the park.
Kenny Gilloon Jr. performed the bagpipe march and the Rev. Vincent Bulus of St. Raymond’s Church delivered the invocation. Trustee Jack Felbinger then unveiled the 20th anniversary memorial stone and the Rev. Mark Lukens of Bethany Congregational Church offered a blessing. Trustee Tim O’Hagan honored fallen heroes.
Afterward, representatives of the Church of the Nazarene performed “Amazing Grace,” before Lisa Stern addressed the audience. A candlelight ceremony and closing prayer finished the proceedings along with a rendition of “God Bless America” by Peter Rapanaro.