WTC Tragedy Remembered:
September 11, 2006

9-11 Memorial Service

Hasbrouck Heights held Memorial Services commemorating the 5th Anniversary of September 11th, 7:00 p.m. at the Firemen’s Memorial Park at The Circle. The theme was, "Honoring Heights Responders."

The program was led by Council President Thomas E. Meli and began with the Corpus Christi Choir singing "America The Beautiful."

Meli led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The invocation, remembering great courage, service and sacrifice, was given by Rev. Dianna Smith, Pastor, First Reformed Church.

Mayor Ronald R. Jones read a litany recalling the people and events affected by 9/11; the gathering refrained, "We Remember Great Courage."

Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman, Pastor, First United Methodist Church and former chaplain of the Kansas City Police and Fire Department, provided the meditation.

She spoke about the danger to our first responders and about their risking their lives for their community and responding to their fellow responders of 9/11 who were in need.

She said, "This evening is an opportunity for us as a community to say thank you, and to remember those who answered the call and responded to Ground Zero with the hope of rescuing someone."

She read a poem, "Heroes Among Us." She reminded us that we must remember it was more than 9/11, it’s that they respond every single day of every year.

The choir led the gathering in the "Star Spangled Banner."

Guest speakers, Fire Chief Joseph Taylor Jr., and Firefighter Thomas Rubino (both responded to Ground Zero) spoke on behalf of the members of the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department, Police Department and EMS personnel who responded, thanking everyone for remembering; emphasizing that they are not really heroes, although they appreciate the title.

Rubino said, "We love what we do. And it is what we do. And on that day, all of those responders did what they do best. They responded!

It has often been said that firefighters run into buildings while everyone runs out -- and on that day many of those who were not firefighters, ran into those buildings, and gave their lives without a second thought.

I watched civilians, police and firefighters dig with their bare hands hour after hour.

It’s what we do. Were merely the guy next door and the guy who runs the shop.

A phoenix arose from the dust and rubble in New York City. That phoenix has made the United States of America stronger; it has made every one of these first responders develop a stronger commitment to continue to do what we do best -- It is to respond.

From the bottom of our hearts we say, thank you. Never, ever forget September 11 and that this is still the United States of America."

Mr. Meli read the names of those from Hasbrouck Heights who responded.

The choir led the everyone in singing "Amazing Grace."

Rev. Dr. Michael Avila provided the Benediction.

Dr. Avila was part of the Clergy based at St. Paul’s Chapel who ministered to the responders, some who worked one, two and three shifts in a row, if only to try and find someone. He concluded with a prayer and blessing.

Robert Miller, who was killed in the attack was remembered. Paul Carris, who survived the attack, was recognized for his heroism.

The program concluded with Conchita Parker and the Corpus Christi Choir singing "God Bless America." ###

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