2012-09-05 / Front Page

9/11 Marked in Philipstown

Graymoor service remembers those who perished, and those who responded
Elizabeth Ailes

Bill Mazzucca speaks at the 9/11 remembrance ceremony on Sunday at Graymoor. Zac AilesBill Mazzucca speaks at the 9/11 remembrance ceremony on Sunday at Graymoor. Zac Ailes

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.  

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