On the 11th anniversary of the tragic terror attacks on the World Trade Center, Yorktown community members, politicians, service men and women paid tribute and respects to those whose who died that day.
"We are here today to memorialize a day that has defined our present age, Sept. 11 , 2001," Yorktown supervisor Michael Grace said on Tuesday, during the memorial ceremony at the Shrub Oak Memorial Plaza. "And in particular those members of our Yorktown family who were so innocently slaughtered by those seeking to destroy us as a country of free people."
Grace, who said he knew a couple of those people who are memorialized in Yorktown, spoke briefly about each one of them – 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 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 and their four children.
"We are here to memorialize these members of our Yorktown family," Grace said. "However, we have a duty beyond memory, beyond honoring, we have a duty to live our lives in a way that gives testimony to the ideals and principals for which those we honor have given their lives."
As part of the memorial ceremony, Grace unveiled a "Never Forget" banner which was given by Hank Gallucci. Gallucci was the designer of the original "Never Forget" flag, which has been accepted by the Word Trade Center Museum in New York City.
"The flag reflects the 9/11 feelings in memory of those lost that day," Gallucci said. "The colors red white and blue are the colors of America's flag. But this blue is the color of the sky that morning. The red is the blood that was shed and the white is the hope that God will cleanse the world of this kind of evil."
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