All of the young volunteers present weren’t even alive 18 years ago when the twin towers were struck in a terrorist attack, Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said at the village’s annual Sept. 11 ceremony.
For those who were alive that day, it is important they tell the stories of what happened and where they were, Strauss said at the event last Wednesday night at Mineola Memorial Park.
“Each of us old enough to remember that beautiful September morning has a story,” Strauss said. “Tell them where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news.”
Explain to them what happened and how you felt, he said.
Strauss said to not only tell the young about the day of the tragedy, but the days following it as well. Tell how communities came together, gathering supplies and letters in support of first responders, some of whom did not come home, he said.
Strauss experienced the aftermath of Sept. 11 firsthand. A detective with the Emergency Service Unit of the New York Police Department at the time, he was part of the team that searched through rubble for survivors.
Strauss’s experiences were even depicted in Hollywood, with “True Detective” star Stephen Dorff playing Strauss in Oliver Stone’s 2006 film “World Trade Center” depicting him risking his life to save two transit cops buried in the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center.
“We need to ensure that the sacrifices of those who were in the towers and those who responded to them are never forgotten,” Strauss said.
This also includes the rescuers, ironworkers, and volunteers who survived the events, but died a “slow death” afterward, Strauss said.
“Please help keep the tragedy as well as the amazing good that came from the attacks on 9/11 from fading,” Strauss said. “Thank you for being with us. Thank you for remembering.”
The Rev. Malcolm J. Burns of Corpus Christi Church was the keynote speaker at the observation.
“I’m so edified by seeing so many of you here from so many parts of our magnificent community in Mineola to remember and never forget,” Burns said. “Forever pray for those souls we lost 18 years ago this day.”
Boy Scout Troop 45, Cub Scouts and the Mineola Volunteer Fire Department served as volunteers for the ceremony.
Mineola High School senior Sarah Steele sang the national anthem at the beginning of the event.