Their names are:
- Patrick William Danahy
- Simon Dedvukaj
- Alan Wayne Friedlander
- Paul Fiori and
- Barry J. McKeon
Community members gathered on Wednesday to memorialize the day – Sept. 11 – that forever defined the nation and to remember Yorktown's own innocent men who were killed that day.
"We are here to memorialize these members of our Yorktown family, however we have a duty beyond memory, the duty beyond honoring," Yorktown supervisor Michael Grace said. "We have a duty to live our lives in a way that oppose and gives testimony to the principals and ideas to those we honor and have given their lives."
Grace said we also have a duty to not only forgive those responsible for the tragic acts, but to be open to the grace that comes with that forgiveness.
"Patrick William, Simon, Alan Wayne, Paul and Barry...we know God holds them in His arms together with those others who so needlessly and innocently gave their lives that day," Grace said. "We pray for all whom they left behind to find peace, and we pray we all live lives worthy of their sacrifice, honoring them forever in our words and deeds. May God bless them. May God bless us. May God bless our Yorktown community and may God bless our great country."
Yorktown Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo said he encourages people to go down to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City and thank the men and women of the United States military who are fighting for freedom.
"We all suffer," he said. "The families that lost people suffer even more, but we are all in this together."
Yorktown Councilman Vishnu Patel, whose son Amit Patel – a blackhawk pilot – was deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, said today is a day when all of the fallen should be remembered.
"I ask you to pause and reflect on the brave actions displayed by those who gave their lives 12 years ago and the subsequent months and years during the War on Terrorism that followed," Patel said. "Our first responders, military have always answered the call when the citizens needed them. Now it's our turn to do something that honors them."
One way to honor them is through community service, Patel said.
"If not today, tomorrow or when you can," he said.
Grace spoke briefly about each one of five Yorktown residents who were killed in 9/11 – Patrick William Danahy, Simon Dedvukaj, Alan Wayne Friedlander, Paul Fiori and Barry J. McKeon.
Patrick William Danahy, 35, was a vice president for investor services at Fiduciary Trust. Dahany, an avid motorcyclist and car enthusiast, is survived by wife Mary and three daughters – his youngest daughter Grace was born one month after 9/11. According to a profile in The New York Times, his wife said "his girls were his life."
Simon Dedvukaj, 26, was a maintenance worker at ABM Industries in Tower 1 (93rd to 95th floors). He is survived by wife Elizabeth, to whom he had been married for less than a year when he died. In a profile, he was described as someone who "skimped on himself to take his nieces and nephews to McDonald's and to buy them lavish Christmas presents." The Simon M. Dedvukaj Foundation was created in his memory. It promotes interest in Albanian history and culture and awards a scholarship to a high school student every year.
Alan Wayne Friedlander, 52, worked at the second World Trade Center tower on the 93rd floor. He was a senior vice president at Aon Insurance Corporation. In a profile published in The New York Times, he was described as a "family man with a handful of passions: bicycling, planning vacations and photography." He is survived by his wife Helen and two children – Steven and Laura.
Paul Fiori, 31, worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. He is survived by his wife Lynda and two daughters – Adriana and Debbie. In a profile published in The New York Times, he was described as a talker and a person who always helped others. In that profile, his wife said he always told her he loved her and brought her flowers for no occasion and wrote her poems.
Barry J. McKeon, 47, was executive vice president at Fiduciary Trust International. In a profile, he was described as a gifted athlete and avid golfer, who if "he saw someone struggling, he'd be the last one out." McKeon is survived by his wife Ginnie (his high-school sweetheart) and their four children. He and his family were actively involved at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Shrub Oak.
During last year's 9/11 memorial ceremony, a "Never Forget" banner was unveiled. It was given to the town by Hank Gallucci, who was the designer of the original "Never Forget" flag, which has been accepted by the Word Trade Center Museum in New York City.