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In Southampton, responders remember

Poster on door of the Southampton firehouse. (Sept.

Poster on door of the Southampton firehouse. (Sept. 11, 2011) Photo Credit: Stacey Altherr

FDNY firefighter Steve Vella, a Water Mill resident, stood with the volunteers at the Southampton Fire Department ceremony Sunday morning as his son, Nate, twirled around his father’s arm.

Vella said he remembers the day of the attacks as “a blur.”

“For the first 24 hours, the FDNY was in a state of disorganization,” he said.

Since many of the top commanders died in the attack, a new chain of command had to be quickly established. He said when Nate, 6, and his other son, Kyle, 14, are a little older, he’ll tell them about what he witnessed on the days after the attacks and explain its history.

“It’s a shame that Pearl Harbor got pushed back from the public’s view,” Vella said. “I hope that doesn’t happen to 9/11.”

Wayne Moore, 46, of Southampton, spent 10 days “on the pile” as part of the New York National Guard’s 106th Air Rescue Wing based at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach.

Wearing a “Gone But Not Forgotten” T-shirt, Moore said what he remembers most about those days at Ground Zero were people coming up to him with pictures of loved ones, asking whether he had seen them.

“That was the thing that bothered me the most,” Moore said. Moore was attending memorial ceremonies in Southampton with his family.


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