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9/11 memorial in Eisenhower Park draws hundreds

Kamee Lachhman, of Valley Stream reads her husband,

Kamee Lachhman, of Valley Stream reads her husband, Amarnauth's, name at the Sunset Candlelight and Remembrance Ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. (Sept. 6, 2012) Credit: Steven Pfost

Nearly 300 people took part in a candlelight 9/11 remembrance ceremony Thursday night hosted by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

Mangano called 9/11 "a tragic day in American history as our great nation was attacked on its own soil."

"As we prepare to observe a national day of remembrance on September 11, it is with honor that we gather to remember residents who lost their lives that tragic morning, the responders that rendered aid to our fellow citizens and who died, those who suffer from post-9/11 injuries . . . to our brave first responders and our servicemen and women who continue to make sacrifices."

The centerpiece of the 7 p.m. event was the calling of the names of the 349 victims.

Melissa Brengel, 34, of Huntington Station, lost her brother, firefighter Jonathan Lee Ielpi, 29, of Great Neck, when the World Trade Center towers fell. "I think it's important that they keep doing things like this to remind people of what happened when we were attacked," she said.

Three other GOP county officials -- Comptroller George Maragos, County Clerk Maureen O'Connell and Legis. Francis Becker of Lynbrook -- also attended.

O'Connell led the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance and Becker sang the national anthem. The Nassau County Police Pipes and Drums played "Amazing Grace" while the candles were lit and members of the East Meadow Fire Department presented the color guard.

Other members of the Nassau County Legislature who attended were Legis. Rose Walker (R-Hicksville), Legis. Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) and the lone Democrat, Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick).

The event was sponsored by MSC Industrial Direct in Melville and McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home in Massapequa.

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