Villages Remember the Heroes of 9-11
Friday, September 16, 2011 00:00-
Wreath Laying Ceremonies at Clock Tower, Arlene Park
Written by Joe Scotchie, Roslyn News 9/16/2011
The lives of fallen heroes were very much on the minds of village residents last Sunday as the Village of East Hills held a special event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
The day was marked by both a wreath-laying ceremony and a single bagpipe player and made even more melancholy by the fact that the ceremony was held at Arlene Park in the Norgate residential area. The park is named for Arlene Fried, an East Hills resident and a victim of 9-11. The park also features a plaque honoring all the local residents who perished that day, including Thomas and Peter Langone, the Roslyn Heights brothers who served, respectively, for the New York City Police and Fire Departments and also for Roslyn Rescue Fire Department.
The two brothers received a special remembrance not only because of their special service but also by the attendance of numerous members of Roslyn Rescue and Roslyn Highlands at the ceremony. A firetruck that honors the Langone brothers was on display and their legacy was remembered by various speakers, including Jeff Kozuch, an East Hills resident and a lieutenant and 20-year veteran of the FDNY.
"[They made] the supreme sacrifice so that others could be saved," recalled Sal Mirra, Jr., chief of Roslyn Rescue.
Alan Schwalberg, an ex-chief at Roslyn Rescue eulogized Peter Langone, hailing him as a loyal son of Roslyn, who grew up in the village, attending local schools, and later, purchased a home there to raise his own family.
"He was a member of Roslyn in a way few of us will ever be," Schwalberg said. "We all are better off for his life."
Schwalberg also remembered Peter was a hardworking fireman, a teacher and a leader who loved hunting and rooting for the New York Knicks.
"He would teach you once, teach you twice, and after that, you had better get it right," Schwalberg recalled of Peter Langone's no nonsense approach to his profession.
Jon Sendach, a past president of Roslyn Rescue also remembered his friend Thomas Langone as a teacher and confidant to younger members of Roslyn Rescue.
Tommy, Sendach recalled, was especially useful to first responders, teaching them constantly to remain professional and stay calm at the scene of an accident.
Sendach also remembered a time in his own career when he was thinking of leaving Roslyn Rescue.
"Tommy convinced me not to quit," Sendach said. "He said communities like Roslyn need us."
For Sendach, the deaths of the Langone brothers only highlighted the tragic events of Sept. 11.
"It never occurred to me that they could be killed," he said. "They always seemed totally in control."
Board of East Hills Trustee Gary Leventhal is also a longtime member of Roslyn Rescue. In an emotional talk, he remembered Tommy Langone as a "good friend to everyone" and noted the plaques and tributes paid to the Langone brothers.
The East Hills resident for whom the park is named for was an employee of Cantor Fitzgerald, the firm that suffered significant losses on 9-11. Mayor Michael R. Koblenz recalled that he had done consulting work for Cantor Fitzgerald and was in the subway heading downtown when the terrorist attack took place.
Mayor Koblenz recited the names of the local residents who perished that day, while declaring the United States a "stronger nation, a more resolved nation, and a more revived nation" as a result of the terrorist attack.
Other dignitaries who attended were Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Nassau County Legislator Wayne Wink, Town of North Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, Town of North Hempstead Clerk Leslie Gross, plus Rabbi Ben David of Temple Sinai and Rabbi Alan Lucas of Temple Beth Sholom. All hailed the heroism displayed on that day, with Supervisor Kaiman noting that 61 victims were from the Town of North Hempstead and 300 in total from Nassau County.
Ceremony in Roslyn
On Friday, Sept. 9, the Village of Roslyn held a similar ceremony at the Ellen E. Ward Clock Tower. The ceremony was held at 9 a.m., around the same time of day that the terrorist attacks took place. As with the East Hills ceremony, the names of local victims were read as bells from the clock tower rang and moments of silence were observed.
Village Trustee Marshall Bernstein compared the attack to Pearl Harbor, while adding that the United States responded in kind to both attacks, first against the Japanese and in recent years, in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Trustee Craig Westergard’s in-laws from Normandy, France sent the following message: "Sept. 11, a time to unite and reflect. All over the world, people are commemorating this anniversary. The reactions of the Normans are very important as it is a way to remember what the Allies did in pervious wars and to thank them. This date will be engraved in our memories"
Mayor John Durkin was unable to attend 9/11 ceremony. However, he made the following statement: "As we remember and honor those who perished on 9/11, we must also remember to support their families, the survivors and our heroic first responders."
As with other speakers, Charles Berman noted the fast passage of time that has taken place since Sept. 11, 2001. In both ceremonies, the immediacy of the event made the distance of 10 years much shorter than it actually is.