Residents remember attacks in many ways

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:16

    Warwick-Warwick residents remembered Sept. 11, 2001, on Saturday, the third anniversary of the attack, in several different ways. During the afternoon, a program at the Peace Circle at Sanfordville Elementary School featured time for quiet meditation and a musical program. In the evening, a vigil to remember 9/11 and call for peaceful solutions drew about 50 people to Lewis Park in Warwick. Beverly Braxton, a teacher at Sanfordville Elementary School and one of the driving forces behind the Peace Circle, estimated that 100 people had been there at the peak, with others stopping by for meditation prior to the musical program in the circle. The Peace Circle was an outgrowth of Braxton's discussions with her students about the Sept. 11 tragedy. The stone wall and three fountains were completed in June 2003. Saturday's program began with a period for silent reflection in the circle. Visitors were also invited to dedicate a memorial stone, to be placed in one of the fountains, in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 attack. The musical program, which began at about 4 p.m., included a performance on pipes and drums, a performance on stringed instruments by Warwick Valley High School students, members of the Bruderhoff Community, a piano and flute recital by Richard Kimball and Lloyd McNeill, a saxophone performance by Jim Mullen and drumming with Kofi Donkor and his troupe. Rhythm instruments were available to allow the audience to participate in the drumming. Donkor and his group led participants through various traditional rhythms of his native Ghana. But one rhythm, in particular, seemed to suit the day. The rhythm says "the way for the future is peace - for oneself, for the community and for the world. This rhythm tells you to be good to each other. If we are good to each other, it can bring that five-letter word: P-E-A-C-E." The program ended with "Taps," played by trumpeter Tony Cosimano. This Sunday, Sept. 19, there will be a ceremony from 3 to 6 p.m. to plant a "Peace Pole" at the Circle of Peace. The pole is inscribed with the words "may peace prevail on Earth" is different languages on the six-sided pole. Young people will speak on the meaning of the pole and the peace circle, and music will be provided by Gaia Wolf, Tina Ross and Doc and South African singer Sharon Katz. On Saturday evening, vigilers gathered a Lewis Park to remember Sept. 11 and to consider the need for peaceful alternatives to the bloody war that followed the attack. An e-mailed invitation from Jan Howe suggests that participants "bear witness to 9/11, the school in Russia, Madrid and to all acts of violence. Let us join together in community for peace." Howe said word of the vigil was spread through e-mail, but the idea was first raised during a post-walk meeting of Warwick Women in Black, which holds a silent march every Sunday in downtown Warwick. She said she was surprised at the number that turned out - between 40 and 50. The vigilers held candles along the South Street side of Lewis Park, then marched through the village. The event ended with a candle light circle in the park. Participants set their candles in the center of the circle, the retrieved them as the vigil broke up. "As we walked through the village, it seemed to me the atmosphere changed," Howe said, following the vigil. "The traffic slowed; the noise died down. I experienced these things as an expression of respect for what we were doing."