Story by Janmarie Foschini
The Greenwood Lake Fire Department gathered with the community on Wed., Sept. 11 to remember those who lost their lives and those who were affected by the tragedy that occurred when the nation was attacked by terrorists 18 years ago.
The memorial service took place at the Greenwood Lake Firehouse. A large American flag was hung from the fire truck outside the firehouse with two blue lights shining to light up the flag. Many people stopped for a moment of silence remembering and honoring those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
The memorial service was attended by a large crowd consisting of community members, volunteer firefighters, the G.L. Ambulance Corps, G.L. and Warwick police, O.C. Sheriff’s Department, American Legion members, Village and Town officials, clergy from Holy Rosary and Grace Lutheran churches, local boy scouts and girl scouts.
Assistant Chief and firefighter Alex Nicholas said, “On behalf of the Greenwood Lake Fire Dept. we would like to thank the community for such an impressive turnout and overwhelming support in helping to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those still fighting. Thank you also to those helping educate the youth so that the lives lost and what happened that day may never be forgotten.”
Father Sebastian from Holy Rosary offered opening prayers to the crowd. Past President and firefighter Steve DeFeo introduced G.L. Mayor Jesse Dwyer who thanked the Fire Department for inviting the community to come together to remember, share and honor those affected by 9/11.
“I am thankful for the community coming out to not only remember and honor the fallen, but to support our current first responders on this day. They remain prepared, willing and able to make the ultimate sacrifice for our community and we owe them support every day of our lives,” said Mayor Dwyer.
Warwick Town Supervisor Mike Sweeton addressed the crowd, as well as G.L. Village Justice Keith Garley paying tribute to all those who lost their lives, and honoring all the first responders and volunteers who helped save countless lives.
G.L. Fire Department Treasurer Jackie Lowenberg rang the bell as a remembrance of those lives lost. Throughout the memorial service, DeFeo recalled and thanked local first responders who were at Ground Zero the day of the tragedy as well as the many days after helping and saving lives. DeFeo, along with other speakers, remembered the lives of local resident and volunteer firefighter with the department, Bruce VanHine, as one of the victims who lost his life on Sept. 11.
Bruce was a firefighter in NYC and on duty that day. G.L. resident Linda Gronlund, an attorney and engineer, lost her life that day as a passenger on Flight 93. She was remembered along with all of those whose lives were lost that day.
Fallen heroes, 1st Lt. Lou (Louis) Allen and Lance Cpl. Scott Lynch, who were killed while serving and protecting the Country, were also remembered. Each of them touched the lives of the community in a special way and will always be remembered and honored. The firehouse displayed memorial photographs along with the steel beam that was brought back from Ground Zero by the fire department. A slide show with music was played outside allowing community members to pay tribute and remember.
Following the memorial service, refreshments were served and many families were seen thanking the first responders for their continued service.