POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The sky was clear and bright blue Tuesday morning, just as it was 11 years ago when the attacks of 9/11 forever changed the American landscape.
Pound Ridge town officials, clergy, firefighters and police officers gathered in Sachs Park for a brief ceremony commemorating the tragedy. Before the 10 a.m. service started, some of the participants reminisced about that morning and what they were doing when they heard the news.
“It’s the same day as our wedding anniversary,” said Ruth Mendes, who was at the ceremony representing the Pound Ridge Jewish Community. “I was driving to a print job and I remember exactly where I was in the drive when I heard about it. Of course, I had to pull over.”
Pound Ridge Town Council member Ali Boak was living in Brooklyn Heights at the time.
“My husband called and said to go down to the promenade because a plane had crashed into the towers,” she said. “I was standing at the promenade – you can see the see the whole [Manhattan] skyline from there and you could see the second plane hit the building.”
Supervisor Gary Warshauer led the program and welcomed the guests to Sachs Park. The invocation was given by Monsignor George Thompson of the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church.
“We gather here to affirm and celebrate the lives [of those who died on 9/11],” the monsignor said. “Let not the memory lead us into feelings of revenge or bitterness.”
Pastor Lori Miller, of the Pound Ridge Community Church, also evoked the theme of forgiveness.
“May we remember what is helpful and lay aside the rest,” she said. “Lay aside fear and bitterness and the need for revenge.”
Mendes told the gathering that remembering the tragedy was important, but it shouldn't blot out hope for the future.
“We know there is no prayer to change our past,” she said. “Today is dimmed somewhat by the memory of the horror and the tragedy. Don’t let the pain cloud our hope or crush our hearts.”
The ceremony also included a three-gun fusillade by the Pound Ridge Volunteer Fire Department and “Taps” was played by Recreation Director David Goldberg.