MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon residents and officials cast aside their differences on Thursday to come together in celebration of the memory of five Mount Vernon residents who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The city gathered at the same place it did 13 years ago, at City Hall, for a solemn ceremony highlighted by speeches from local officials and the installation of a red, white and blue wreath at the monument that was erected in those residents’ memory five years ago.
After music selections from City Clerk George Brown and his sister, Cornelia, Mayor Ernest Davis reminded those in attendance that it’s important to put aside any differences they might have and remember the 2,753 people who lost their lives in the attack.
“When you leave here today, know that this city will always remember,” he said. “I hope history will write that we of the city of Mount Vernon always remembered.”
Mount Vernon residents Michael Boccardi, Jonathan Briley, Sandra Campbell, Katie McCloskey and Rochelle Snell were working at the World Trade Center when the terrorist attacks took place. Their memories were cemented in Mount Vernon when the city erected a memorial outside City Hall for them.
Comptroller Maureen Walker asked that those in attendance look past differences and act thoughtfully toward one another
“I still speak with some of the families that suffered losses that day, and for them, I ask that you go out, and be kind,” she said. “Do something good to honor the lives we lost.”
In her brief remarks, City Council President Roberta Apuzzo said she spent her morning watching and listening to the various national ceremonies that were broadcast throughout the day. She stressed that the world needs more love and less hate.
“I watched with great reverence at those mourning their loved ones,” she said. “I can’t imagine that pain. It saddens me that they have to relive that pain year after year.”
Fresh on the heels of terrorist threats from ISIS in the Middle East and President Barack Obama’s strongly worded warning on Wednesday night, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow questioned if the world learned anything from that fateful Tuesday morning.
“I knew two of the Mount Vernonites that died that day. Active terrorism took their lives, and terrorism is still alive in this world,” he said. “I love this country, but not this world. As Americans, it’s time for us to stand up.”
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