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Rye City 9/11 Commemoration: Rye Mayor’s Remarks

French 9-11 podium IMG_1974

The following were the remarks of Rye Mayor Doug French at today's September 11th commemoration ceremony.

MyRye.com will post more pictures and video shortly.

CITY OF RYE SEPTEMBER 11TH COMMEMORATION CEREMONY (9/11/2011)
INTRODUCTION

Good afternoon, I am Mayor Douglas French.

Welcome to the City of Rye, September 11th Commemoration Ceremony.

Thank you all for being part as we come together as a nation, as a City and as a community to remember those lost and to honor those who serve.

Welcome to our honored guests:

  • Congresswoman Nita Lowey
  • State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer
  • State Assemblyman George Latimer
  • Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett
  • County Legislator Judy Myers

BAGPIPER TRIBUTE

Today’s ceremony begins at this location as a tribute to our first responders.  On the wall of this firehouse is a plaque dedicated to the firemen, police officers and Port Authority personnel who died on September 11th 2001.  It reads: 

We Will Never Forget
In honor of our lost heroes
FDNY 343, NYPD 23, PAPD 37
In memory of our Rye Friends

REMEMBERING

Ten years.  While many of us have our own personal story about the events 10 years ago, today on this September 11th we stand together to remember the victims and their families and their stories.  Shortly we will walk together to the 9/11 Memorial Gazebo for reflection and a reading of the names of the 15 Rye residents who lost their lives that day.  They were parents, spouses, children, siblings and friends.  They will always be in our hearts.  And while we come together as a community to give strength to the families, it is the families and their stories of loss and pain and rebuilding that gives strength to all of us.

HONORING

This September 11th is also a time to honor our first responders – police, fire, emergency services and personnel.  They respond with incredible courage as we run one way — they run the other.  Their stories, the stories of all first responders have one goal — to protect others.  Those stories continue to play out everyday in emergency situations.  Having seen this firsthand by working in the emergency center during Irene, I have never been more proud to represent this City and its personnel.  To all of our first responders – thank you.

SERVING

So how can we and each of you best remember those lost and honor those that serve?  In pure selflessness, the families and first responders across the nation have called for this September 11th to begin a national day of service.  For each of us to commit to help our community, volunteer, help others and make a difference.  Many not-for-profit organizations in Rye, along the soundshore and across the County can use your help. 

Ten years later the American story of September 11th is one of resilience.  But that doesn’t start as a nation; it starts in our communities and on our streets and in our homes.  The service you give by helping others will serve as a symbol of how we can best remember and honor.      

PROCESSION TO THE 9/11 MEMORIAL GAZEBO

Last year, the families of those Rye Citizens lost gifted to the City of Rye a memorial gazebo.  It not only serves as a memorial, but a venue that welcomes other services and ceremonies that celebrate life.  I ask Holly O’Neill-Melville who is here representing the families and whose husband Sean was lost on September 11th to join me in leading the procession to the Gazebo.  Her grace and strength has been an inspiration to us all.

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