Thirty seniors from the Anthony J. Posillipo Community Center in Rye Brook reflected on those that lost their lives on that fateful day of September 11th ten years ago.
Deputy Village Clerk and senior coordinator, Liz Rotfeld gave a personal perspective on the poignant Twin Towers
“When I look back at my childhood and my memory of the Twin Towers, two of the tallest buildings in the world, I remember them as the spirit and strength of America,” said Rotfeld. “Of what we can endure and what we can achieve. That is unchanged."
"I think of the people we lost that day and I hope they are remembered for the lives they lived, for what they achieved and for the people they touched. In those memories they are not left behind but continue to live on in our hearts,” continued Rotfeld.
After Rotfeld concluded four people: Mayor Joan Feinstein; Rye Brook Police Officer Ryan Gilchrist, senior center VP Mary Haeger and senior center member - veteran Basil Petach approached a table to light four candles in remembrance of those lost followed by a moment of silence.
A group of singers dressed in red, white and blue called “The Upbeats” –comprised of seven women from both Port Chester and Rye Brook –entertained attendees with patriotic and service songs including: “America The Beautiful,” “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” “Anchors Away,” “Wild Blue Yonder” and “You’re A Grand Old Flag.” The group encouraged the audience to sing along and even handed out small American flags to complement the patriotic sentiment.
One of the 3,000 casualties that day was a member of the Rye Brook community. Kenichiro Tanaka, 52, was the general manager of Fuji Bank’s corporate banking division, located on the 78th floor of the South Tower. Tanaka faithfully worked for the company for 29 years, and had moved to New York only two years prior after brief stays in Toronto and Chicago.
He had three children, two –Mizuki and Eugene– attended Blind Brook Schools. Mayor Finestein led a moment of silence in memoriam of Tanaka, who was a very respected man in the community.
State Assemblyman George Latimer delivered the event's closing speech.
“We learned that in this world there is: bravery, grief, that there really is evil and that it does exist. We learned that our military and those that protect us are relentless,” said Latimer.
“It took 10 years to find Osama bin Laden, but relentlessly he was found and he was given the justice that he deserved" continued Latimer. "We learned that we are all Americans.”