They will never forget.
Hundreds of families gathered at Marine Park on Sept. 11 for state Sen. Marty Golden’s (R–Marine Park) annual candlelight Memorial Ceremony to remember the innocent lives lost 16 years ago, and the heroism of all the city’s first responders on that tragic day. Some of those heroes were overcome with emotion to see the community come together, said now-retired firefighter Daniel Prince, who lives in the neighborhood.
“It was beautiful, very nice to get the community involved, the different organizations, and to see everybody pulling together means so much,” said Prince, who had fatefully taken a trip out of town that Tuesday in 2001. “I did 36 years with the fire department and I enjoyed every day of it, the greatest job I ever had.”
The candlelight ceremony — which included members of the U.S. Marine Corps, and the city’s police department and fire department — featured the pledge of allegiance recited by neighborhood Girl Scouts, a local singer’s rendition of the national anthem, and an opening prayer. It was incredibly moving for those who witnessed the aftermath of the attacks, said another Marine Park emergency responder who was at Ground Zero 16 years ago.
“I thought it was great — very nice,” said John Augello, who retired from the police department about 10 years ago.
Golden told the mourning crowd that coming together each year to remember those killed 16 years ago, and since then from 9/11-related illnesses, will only make the community, city, and country stronger.
“We come out each and every year and we never forget those that perished, and are still perishing,” Golden said during the ceremony. “So I thank you this very evening, all of you, for remembering those that we lost and to further strengthen our resolve that we will never forget.”