BY HEATHER BARR
Sloatsburg – On the 12th anniversary of the tragedy that struck America on September 11, the village of Sloatsburg came together to remember our heroes with a ceremony at Sloatsburg’s community field.
The ceremony, which was led by Mayor Carl Wright, was one of the five held throughout Rockland to pay respects to the lives that were lost.
“As Americans, we continue to embrace the future with hope and confidence,” stated Wright.
The opening included the Boy Scouts, Sloatsburg Fire Department Color Guard and Sloatsburg Volunteer Ambulance Corps and a traditional recitation of Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner.
Father Niranjan Rodrigo performed the invocation, followed by comments from Sister Eileen O’Farrell and a special prayer said by Bishop George Langberg of St. Elizabeth’s Chapel. After a musical presentation from Sarah Consiglio, Hannah Consiglio and Molly Ferguson, the community took some time to recognize former Ramapo Police Chief Joseph Miele and Sheriff Kralik.
Sloatsburg residents were among those affected by the events of 9/11 and did suffer losses. The town took the time to pay respects to all those who died, including Denis Germain, a Sloatsburg man who lost his life saving others at the World Trade Center. Gemain’s sister Peggy Germain Dobrinski spoke of her brother’s moral quality and contemplated whether heroes were born or made.
“We can act in selfless ways and instill morals and values in our younger generations and we can continue to mold heroes,” Dobrinski said. “What better way to remember and continue the legacy those heroes of 9/11 then to mimic their heroic qualities?”
President Joseph Hardiman of the Fire Department and Commander Pat Miller of American Legion Post 1643 also spoke, offering words of encouragement and reminding attendees of the tragedy of the attack.
As the ceremony was coming to an end, a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace” was played by Frank Armstrong and TAPS was performed by Trustee Daniel O’Leary. A benediction from Father Niranjan Rodrigo was followed by “God Bless America,” which was sung by attendees as they walked around the community field with glow sticks.