Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt announced with Mayor Joseph Bucco that he has secured the donation of a video monitoring system from New York Security Systems, Inc. president Allan Markoff, at no cost to the Village, to protect the recently vandalized Washingtonville 9-11 memorial.
The Washingtonville 5
The 9-11 memorial is dedicated in the memory of five local firefighters who died during the 2001 terrorist attacks: Mark Whitford, Bobby Hamilton and Gerry Nevins, Lt. Glenn Perry and Battalion Chief Dennis Devlin.
Last week the memorial was desecrated in a series of attacks that included the vandalization of the local Catholic Church Parish Center property as well.
“The depraved desecration of the 9-11 Memorial and St. Mary’s Church property in Washingtonville was an act of pure evil and hate,” Schmitt said. “Yet out of these horrible acts the true values and generosity of our community have shown through. Since the incident occurred I have worked with Mayor Bucco to explore additional measures that can be taken to secure this hallowed ground. I want to thank Allan Markoff for his overwhelming generosity. Within hours of the event Allan was on the phone offering to assist. This is what our community and our values are all about.”
Bucco talked about how the incident affected the community. “The outpouring of support and generosity that we have received is profound and represents the spirit and values of our village and nation,” the mayor said. “This new video monitoring system will ... ensure that we can prevent an incident like this from happening again and fully secure these memorial grounds.”
Markoff called the memorial “a sacred place to honor the heroes who sacrificed their lives on 9-11. He, too, also noted the incident’s impact on the community. “It is disgraceful that this memorial was ever desecrated to begin with,” he said, “but out of this tragedy comes unity.”
Washingtonville Village Trustee Paul Lang called the incident “a disgrace but brought the community together.”
John Salka, president of the Washingtonville Firefighters World Trade Center Memorial, thanked Schmitt, Markoff and “all those who have reached out over the past week with donations and offering to volunteer to guard this site.
“We have had an outpouring of support from the local community, fire departments, police departments, IBEW and other organizations to help protect the site,” Salka added. “For anybody who would like to donate, please visit our website here and click the ‘Donate’ button.”