Hometown Happenings: A Day of Remembrance and a Day of Service

By Town of Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann

By Supervisor George Hoehmann

People in every corner of our nation gathered once again to remember September 11, 2001. Once again we gathered outside of Town Hall to remember and reflect upon those in our community whose lives were unnecessarily cut short by evil, cowardly men.

It is incredible to think that 17 years have elapsed. Much has transpired since that day. Immediately after the attacks the country became bonded together in a way not witnessed perhaps since Pearl Harbor and the victories secured in World War II. Those first days everyone seemed to be united together, in shock and pain. The pain was palpable, real and it seemed never ending.

Eventually the shock passed into firm resolve. We were going to survive, we were going to rebuild, we were going to honor those lost, and we were going to move forward.

It is hard to believe how united we were as a nation back then, especially when we see the division of recent times.

That is why we need to think about the selfless bravery that first responders showed that day and the weeks following it. Many brave souls ran into those buildings putting others before themselves. In the weeks that followed, I recall images of people all over the country standing in line to give blood and other scenes of extraordinary service and compassion.

September 11th evokes many emotions and is first and foremost a day of remembrance. But it is also a day of service. It is a reminder of how fragile our lives are, but that we are always stronger when we are doing things to help others. Many volunteers spent hours on the pile looking for remains and picking up the pieces of lower Manhattan. Many volunteered to join our Armed Forces. In short, we all asked: What can I do to help?

We will never forget, but one way to recapture the spirit of unity and humanity we had at that time is to make a real commitment to an organization or individual effort to give of ourselves in the service of others. Even a small amount of time will make an impact and be appreciated by those in need.