On Saturday, Sept. 11, the twentieth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon , a huge crowd gathered as the Village of Warwick and the Warwick Fire Department held a remembrance ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial Sculpture Garden on the Roger Metzger Arboretum in Stanley-Deming Park.
Many of those attending had just attended the Fire Department’s remembrance ceremony in Veterans Memorial Park. And this event would also pay tribute to those who perished that fateful day.
An I-beam from the World Trade Center
The memorial, designed by artist Amy Lewis Sweetman, encompasses an I-beam from the World Trade Center gifted to the Village of Warwick through the efforts of Warwick Historical Society curator Michael Bertolini with the help of former Assemblyman Howard Mills.
The ceremony began with Mayor Michael Newhard welcoming everyone and introducing the guest speakers, and the entrance of an American Legion and VFW Color Guard.
Everyone then stood for the National Anthem performed by the Meister Singers under the direction of Noreen Hanson.
A prayer of dedication was offered by the Rev. Stacey Duensing Pearce of the Warwick Reformed Church.
Mayor Newhard then recognized elected local officials and emergency services followed by his introduction of guest speakers including state and local officials as well as artist Amy Sweetman.
Sweetman described her task of designing a monument around the I beam from the “Phoenix” of the World Trade Center as “overwhelmingly emotional.”
‘A gift to the community’
During the ceremony Supervisor Michael Sweeton struck the bell for each name on the memorial read by the mayor.
In his remembrance remarks Newhard described the Memorial Sculpture Garden as “a wonderful gift to the community to be located in an area where children play, easy to see but that stands apart high on a hill - a quiet place to teach the children what happened that day.”
The ceremony concluded with a violin selection played by E’lissa Jones and a closing benediction by the Rev. Jack Arlotta, pastor of the Church of St. Stephen, The First Martyr.
“A beautiful place of reflection, a fitting tribute for all those we lost that day, especially those in our community.”
Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton
“Remember, love is the very best thing we have in this life.”
From a letter by Elsa Strong, the sister of Greenwood Lake resident Linda Gronlund, who perished with the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa. The letter was read by Frances Marino.