(Photo by Gary Quintal)
By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, September 13- Gathering at the Section 1 Greenway Tuesday night, more than 100 shareholders joined in a commemoration program focusing on the need to focus on peace and harmony as an answer to the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
In a stirring program organized by Mark Bruh and his From the Warfront to the Homefront Foundation, Bruh, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Revs. Robert Smith Jr., and Angelo Rosario focused on the fact that our nation was attacked because of the diversity of its citizens' backgrounds and its adherence to a democratic way of life.
Solemn music, chosen by Bruh, added significantly to the emotion of the commemoration, which tugged at the heartstrings of those who attended the local tribute to the victims of 9/11.The lighting of candles for 9/11's victims added to the commemoration's solemnity.
Rev. Smith, the pastor of the Church of the Savior, stressed, in his speech to those at the commemoration, that a nation that was “brought to its knees” on 9/11 has recovered, to a large extent, with people taking better care of one another than they had before.
Assemblyman Benedetto, for his part, said that he sometimes gets tired of the constant bickering and arguing that accompanies a democracy before realizing that the arguing and bickering are what make the country a unique and wonderful democracy.
Bishop Rosario, who opened the doors of his Church of God's Children for a week after the 9/11 terror attacks, said, “What made 9/11 different was that we never had anyone fight in our backyard before. The people who attacked us wanted to destroy our faith. What they did is emphasize the point that all of us, in our country, are part of one human race. That tragic day brought all of us together; it made us stronger. It made us rise, stand up, and fight for the freedoms that we enjoy.”
Among those leading the Co-op City commemoration of 9/11 were Emily Toro, whose serviceman son was killed in 2007 in the War on Terror, and Wanda Bailey, a Co-op City woman who survived the attacks on the World Trade Center in both 1993 and 2001.
Among those lighting candles to remember the heroes who were in the World Trade Center inferno of 2001 was Nellie Rodriguez, who remembered Richard Rodriguez, a Port Authority officer who died while trying to rescue victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Ms. Rodriguez, a former president of the local community's Spanish-American Club, said, after Tuesday night's commemoration of 9/11, “We must never forget those who perished. My nephew was 30 years old when he died. He had the day off on 9/11, but he plunged into harm's way because he felt it was his duty to help other people in their hour of need.”