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North Salem Marks the 9/11 Decade

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Four local clergy and two dignitaries eloquently spoke at Sunday’s 9/11 Remembrance, held at the North Salem Fire House.

Rev. Lucia Ballantine, Rector of St. James Episcopal Church, said she was personally “humbled by the resilience, creativity and strength,” of humanity and also by its “destructiveness and hatefulness.” She “profoundly believes in our capacity to change, be different and become larger.” She concluded with the prayer of St. Francis, “‘Lord, make us instruments of thy peace, where there is hatred, let us sow love.’”

Monsignor Moore of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church spoke in touching detail about the 9/11 attack itself, asked people to “never forget,” and said he asked God to “help us turn a page in the book of life so we can carry on the dreams, love and compassion that started with the victims of 9/11.”

Pastor Tim Wagner of the Croton Falls Presbyterian Church, in delivering the opening prayer, said it was fitting that the North Salem Fire Department led the day’s memorial service and said, “May we never forget those who ran into the building that day.”

Commander Herb Geller, of the North Salem American Legion Post, pointed out that "we remember Pearl Harbor” but are no longer mourning it because “that issue has been resolved. 9/11 has not. We are still at war with the terrorists.” He described how puzzling it was to hear the radio and TV reports of the initial incidents and how the aftereffects continued for months.

Like Wagner, Geller honored those who rushed toward the conflagration and those who served afterwards in the clean-up.

“Even trained dogs went in, wearing special shoes to protect their paws," he said.

At the opening of the ceremony, lifelong resident Drew Outhouse spoke about how personal tragedies affect us all in different ways.

“This is a day of remembrance and we have to keep remembering,” he said. “It was a bright sunny morning that day in September when I turned on the TV. And I realized that life as I knew it would never be the same.”

Outhouse urged people to return year after year to solemnly commemorate 9/11 and not allow it to lose its meaning.

“I’m afraid that one day we’ll be hearing that Macy’s is having a 9/11 Day sale.”

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