9/11 Marked in Philipstown
With a bright blue September sky overhead and the idyllic grounds of the Graymoor spiritual center as a backdrop, a crowd of citizens gathered Sunday morning to remember those who perished in the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Brother Ted Novak, of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and chaplain of the Garrison Volunteer Fire Co., led the service, introducing guests and reminding all present of the significance of the day. Brother Novak offered prayers of reflection and forgiveness.
The simple, yet eloquent service was punctuated by the stirring sound of bagpipes played by Mark Civita, with the Hudson Highlands Pipe Band. Dorothy Ferguson, mother of the first responder Robert Ferguson, opened the ceremony singing the National Anthem, accompanied by Don Simons on the accordion. She also provided a moving conclusion, leading the crowd at program’s end in singing God Bless America.
A highlight of the gathering was the moving speech of the broadly popular former town Supervisor Bill Mazzucca who said of the St. Jude Garden of Remembrance memorial, “it not only reminds us of that tragic day, but also of the heroes who rushed into the burning buildings. Let us take this opportunity not only to remember that tragic day, but also to be thankful for the firefighters, EMTs and all first responders.”
The ceremony included the ringing of the firefighter's bell in recognition of those who perished as well as saying the Firefighter's Prayer.
FIRE FIGHTER’S PRAYER
When I am called to duty, God
Wherever flames may rage
Give me strength to save a life
Whatever be its age.
Let me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert
And hear the weakest shout,
and quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling
To give the best in me,
To guard my friend and neighbor
And protect their property.
And, if, according to your will,
While on duty I must answer death’s call;
Bless with your protecting hand My family, one and all.
The area where the 9/11 memorial is located is open 24/7, and is lighted, for those who may wish to stop by at any time.
Among the attendees Sunday were representatives from several fire companies, as well as the Garrison Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Ladies Auxilliary.