Six names were read off at the Liberty Park in White Plains Wednesday morning.
It didn’t take long for White Plains Mayor Tom Roach to read them off. Maybe 10 to 12 seconds at the most.
But as each tear began to form from the friends and family members in attendance attached to those names, it became apparent that it didn’t matter how long it took. The emotional wounds caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 haven’t completely healed.
“Much of the discussion that has surrounded the remembrance of Sept. 11 this year has been around it being a day of service,” Roach said during the city's annual Sept. 11 Honor Service. “We talk about how we’ve increased our vigilance and we thank our first responders and the armed forces—the men and women who have who protect us everyday. But, for me, this day will alway be about remembering what we lost, the people we lost and the damage that was done that can never be healed.”
The program, which was put on in conjunction with the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, took place near the city’s permanent memorial for the residents of White Plains who were killed on Sept. 11. Those people are Sharon Balkom, Marissa Dinardo, Hermanth Kumar Puttur, Joe Reverso, Gregory Rodriquez and Linda Sheehan.
Jeffrey Geary, pastor at the White Plains Presbyterian Church, gave the opening and closing prayers, at the ceremony. The honor guard for the city police and fire departments and the police Emerald Society Pipers and Drummers were also in attendance.
Members of the White Plains Common Council placed a wreath on the 9/11 memorial and were followed by Nella Barese, who read a poem entitled “One” in honor of her friend Marissa Dinardo.
There program concluded following a ceremonial bell ringing at 8:46 a.m.
Richard Hoffman attended Wednesday’s service with his daughter, Marissa, and his father-in-law, Domenico Riverso. Hoffmann said they attended the event to recognize the memory of his brother-in-law, Joseph Riverso.
“It hasn’t gotten any easier for the family,” Hoffmann said. “This time of a year is always hard. Joseph’s daughter is now in college and it’s been tough for her to grow up without her father. It hurt the family very deeply.”
But Hoffman said the community has been a huge support in the community the past 12 years.“The community here, especially the White Plains area, has been good helpful,” Hoffman said. “Friends and family have just alway been around to help out.”