Manorhaven commemorates the 16th anniversary of 9-11

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Members of the Port Washington Fire Department listen to speeches during Manorhaven's 9/11 memorial ceremony. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

It was a warm, clear September morning on Monday when the Manorhaven community gathered to remember what had happened on a warm, clear September morning 16 years earlier.

For the sixth straight year, the village of Manorhaven hosted a 9-11 memorial ceremony outside of Village Hall.

In attendance were local politicians, members of the local police and fire departments, military veterans and over 100 members of the local community.

“This is a day for all of us to come together as one and reflect on those we lost,” state Sen. Elaine Phillips said.

New York State Senator Elaine Phillips addresses the audience of Manorhaven’s 9/11 memorial ceremony on Monday. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Following a bagpipe hymn and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem was sung by Ella Rowe, a 4th grader at Sousa Elementary School and the granddaughter of Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena.

“It gives me faith that your generation will remember this day for years to come,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth told Rowe.

The flag was then lowered to half-staff, as many flags were to be flown Monday around the country.

In addition to Bosworth and Phillips, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whotton, state Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso and Assistant Port Washington Police Chief Jeffrey Morris also addressed the crowd.

All of the speakers addressed the crowd from a podium placed in front of the 9-11 Memorial, a slab of rock with the names of local men and women who perished in the attacks. The memorial was dedicated in July of 2016 and the walkway leading up to it was finished for Manorhaven’s inaugural 9/11 ceremony in 2012.

Of the 56 people from North Hempstead who died in the attacks, five came from Port Washington and two came from Manorhaven.

One of those from Manorhaven was Antonio Jose Rodrigues, a member of the Port Authority who volunteered to retrieve oxygen masks in the basement of the South Tower and was killed when the building collapsed.

Members of the USVA 11th New York Regiment perform a rifle salute as part of Manorhaven’s 9/11 memorial ceremony. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

The 11th New York veteran’s regiment preformed a rifle salute as “Taps” was played on trumpet. The invocation was given by Sisters Kathy Somerville and Gerri O’Neill of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville. Rabbi Alysa Mendleson of the Port Jewish Center gave the benediction.

Many of the people in attendance knew somebody who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Avena, who previously served as the president of financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald, knew many of the company’s 658 employees who were killed in the attacks.

“Jim, I know you were so connected to the events of that day,” Bosworth told him during the ceremony.

Grace Callahan is a Manorhaven resident who attended the ceremony on Monday.

She said she knew people professionally who had passed away on Sept. 11 and was one of many attendees who were visibly moved by the service.

“Cathartic – that’s the word. It was very cathartic for me and everybody,” Callahan said of the memorial service. “There were both positive and negative emotions for me. It was a very moving ceremony and I’m glad I came.”

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