“Amazing Grace” echoed down Main Street in Center Moriches as the Siol na h'Eireann Pipe Band of Selden followed flag bearers and volunteers of the Center Moriches Fire Department last night.
Some in the crowd that lined the street applauded, while others shed tears.
At the fire department, a bell was rung in honor of the 343 firefighters who sacrificed their lives on Sept. 1, 2001.
“We mark the tenth anniversary of the day that shook our nation,” said Chief J.R. Saetran. “It was a clear day, blue skies, and by night, everything changed. We changed that day not only as a nation but as individuals.”
Suffolk County Legis. Kate Browning also attended the memorial and recalled the moment she saw her husband, NYPD officer Steve Browning, after the attacks. “I remember the smell on his clothes when he finally got to come home during that sentimental period,” she said. “I will never forget that smell.”
To honor the men and women who lost their lives on Sept. 11, the fire department unveiled a memorial that includes a piece of metal from the World Trade Center. Saetran said the memorial provides the community with a place to cherish the friends and family whose lives were lost. “It is a place to go to remember, and never forget.”
Community members lined up to touch the piece from Ground Zero. “We are more aware of terrorism today, although it is not to say another tragedy could not happen again,” said Michele Slavik, 47, of Center Moriches, whose husband, a volunteer fireman, helped organize the memorial service. “We are thankful for every day we live free.”