Hope, silence and resolve characterized 9/11 memorial services in the Twin Counties on Monday.
Greene County Emergency Services held their sixth annual 9/11 Memorial Service. The service was held at 11 a.m. at the Greene County 911 Center in Cairo.
The National Anthem and God Bless America were sung by Laura Marriott.
Guest speaker at the event, George Hill, FSO of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, delievered the keynote address.
Hill has been involved with the military, firefighting, and law enforcement throughout his career.
Kevin Haverly, a Greene County sheriff’s deputy who was killed in a one-car accident while on duty in late February, was a focus of the ceremony.
Haverly’s name was added to the memorial monument at the 911 center in Cairo. The monument honors Greene County first responders who have lost their lives during their service.
“It was a good ceremony,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “It gets better every year.”
This was the first year that a name was added to the monument at the ceremony, Groden said.
Groden exemplified the response to Hill’s speech.
“It was a very moving speech. He tied everything together beautifully,” Groden said. “He’s so connected to first responders.”
Vietnam veteran Fred Ingraham, 69, of New Baltimore has attended all six 9/11 memorial services held by Greene County Emergency Services.
“It was very good, they were all right on with everything,” he said. “I knew a few first responders that were there on 9/11.”
Ingraham told a story about a good friend, a firefighter he knew during 9/11.
“Four years after 9/11, you wouldn’t have even recognized him.” he said.
Added to the monument was mulch and flowers, as well as stone path work to help add to the display. The additions were part of an Eagle Scout project by Dominick Manoli, who helped receive several donations to complete it.
In Columbia County, a 9/11 memorial service was held at Volunteer Park in Valatie.
The service was held at 6:30 p.m. and was hosted by Girl Scout Troop 1076. Fire departments and state police were in attendance.
Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett spoke to the county about the tragic day 16 years ago.
“It’s a date we should never forget,” Bartlett said. “It’s cliche — but it’s true. If you think back to Pearl Harbor, everyone remembers where they were — it’s always in our minds.”
Bartlett was on the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team at the time. His team was supposed to be sent into New York City for a search and rescue mission but it was switched the day before to a recovery mission, Bartlett said.
“We were supposed to go on Friday but they called on Thursday and told us to stand down,” he said. “We were disappointed. We wanted to go — we wanted to do something.”
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team has evolved into the Columbia-Greene Shared Services Response Team, a combined unit with Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
“This is what we fight for everyday,” Bartlett said. “We were hit on our home soil, it’s something we always have to be vigilant about — we are the frontlines at home.”
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Monday to expand unlimited sick leave benefits for public sector officers and employees who developed a qualifying health condition as a result of their response to 9/11 rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts at World Trade Center sites.
“It is critical that we honor these courageous efforts and by signing this bill into law today,” Cuomo said. “We make it clear that New York stands behind the first responders in their time of need just as they stood with New York on that tragic day 16 years ago.”
Individuals would be eligible under the bill for unlimited paid leave at 100 percent of their regular salary dating back to the time of their diagnosis.
Qualifying for the benefit are individuals who currently work for a municipality, public authority or state employer outside New York City, have filed a notice of participation in the World Trade Center clean-up and recovery efforts and have a qualifying World Trade Center health condition as defined by statute.
U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19. also reflected on 9/11 Monday.
“I toured the still-smoldering site with other state and local officials. That’s an image I won’t soon forget,” he said. “The shock and enormity of both the loss of human life and the destruction of property still astounds and angers me. More than that, it motivates me as I carry out my new role here in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We should always remember the innocent lives lost on that fateful day and be united in our determination to stand together as Americans against acts of terror,” Faso said. “Moreover, we must always remain vigilant to the threats which we still face internationally and here at home.”
To reach reporter Anthdony Fiducia, call 518-828-1616, ext. 2309, or email email@example.com.