BY BARRY WARNER
On Friday, September 9, 2016 members of the community gathered together at the 9/11 Memorial Garden in the Academic Quad to honor and remember all those whose lives were taken on that fateful day.
President of RCC Dr. Cliff Wood said, “This 9/11 ceremony is held in memory of the Rockland County residents who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attack 15 years ago. We have the responsibility to educate and remind students about that day and the importance of America. The heroes and victims who came from different lifestyles symbolized strength and courage. There is work to be done and this Memorial Garden stands as a hope for ‘oneness’ and peace.”
Student veteran of the U.S. Navy Warren Pafford was selected to read some of the names of the Rockland County residents who perished. He commented, “This day brings back memories of 9/11, because I was in the 6th grade at that time. There was a big crowd watching TV and everyone in the room was silent, so I knew something was wrong. My mom worked on Wall Street and was on a train when the towers fell.”
The Memorial Garden includes the sculpture ‘Spirit Rising’ by Eric David Laxman, which is made with steel pulled from the ashes of the World Trade Center. The Garden also includes benches, brick pavers and an inscription of the 9/11 poem ‘Out of the Blue’ written by Dan Masterson, Poet Laureate of Rockland County. Also, young saplings nurtured from the famed 9/11 Survivor Tree are nearby.