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Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow Remember Sept. 11, 2001

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow gathered Sunday morning in Patriot's Park to remember and honor those who lost their lives and the first-responders who answered the call of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.

“We all stand here today to remember,” Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said. “We stand here today to remember those who lost their lives and to those who gave their lives. We stand here today to say that we are Americans and that no evil attack on us would destroy us or our spirit.”

The ceremony took place in the shadow of a giant American flag, suspended high in the air by two fire trucks. Firefighters marched along Washington Street from the Tarrytown Main Street Firehouse to the park in full dress uniform. Fire trucks from both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow followed and lined up on Washington Street during the ceremony.

Speakers from both villages praised the actions of local firefighters and residents who responded after planes struck the World Trade Center in New York City, killing thousands of people and destroying the twin towers.

Firefighters from both villages went to New York City to help with the recovery efforts in 2001. Residents donated food and clothing and lined up at Phelps Hospital to give blood. Wray remembered how a North Tarrytown fire truck could be seen driving down the Saw Mill Parkway many times over a period of weeks.

“On this 10th anniversary of that, what really was an indescribably tragic day, what we're here for is to remember the sacrifice, the risks that the firefighters, the police officers, the emergency personnel that they put themselves at to save other people's lives,” Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said. “It's something that words simply cannot describe the gratitude that we should have and have for those men and women who put their lives at risk and then gave their lives.”

Sleepy Hollow Fire Chief John Korzelius also praised the community's efforts and remembered how volunteer firefighters sprang into action.

“Immediately, the call went out for help, and there was never a second thought,” he said. “Most of us went to the New York City firehouse and then shortly thereafter, worked out of Ground Zero for months. I am proud today to stand here with everyone in this park, not only fellow firefighters, but fellow Americans.”

Tarrytown Assistant Fire Chief John McCarthy sought understanding from the tragedy.

“We are also given the opportunity to overcome the lie of them and learn to live together,” he said. “The terrorists of 9/11 were guided by a narrative of intercultural incompatibility. But as people of diverse, religious, secular identities, we can prove them wrong in our unity.”

How did you remember Sept. 11 on Sunday? Tell us in the comments below.

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