Oceanside and the Village of Island Park each took time to pause and reflect on the lives lost in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, during memorial ceremonies on the 18th anniversary of the tragedies.
In Island Park, members of the Fire Department stood in a circle at the 9/11 monument on Parma and Long Beach roads, some holding American flags, while Mayor Michael McGinty, the village’s board of trustees and Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito participated in the ceremony.
D’Esposito recited the Pledge of Allegiance, while McGinty welcomed guests and spoke about the events of that horrific day. McGinty dedicated the ceremony to Anthony Perez and firefighter Thomas Kelly, of FDNY Ladder 105, who both died on 9/11.
“We come together to remember and honor our innocents, martyrs for freedom,” McGinty said. “We come together to honor our first responders, those brave men and women who gave all for the love of one another, for their fellow man. There is no love greater. We come together at this memorial. This monument stands here as a constant in our lives because our hearts need a viable and tangible expression of our sorrow.”
The board members then placed a memorial wreath and the Rev. Joel Fernandez gave the closing prayer.
In Oceanside, elected officials, members of the Fire Department and religious leaders gathered with residents on the Schoolhouse Green to remember the lives that were lost in the attacks — 19 of whom came from Oceanside.