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Valley Stream honors its 9/11 victims

People place flowers and touch a beam from

People place flowers and touch a beam from the World Trade Center during the Village of Valley Stream's 10th anniversary September 11, 2001 commemorative ceremony in the memorial garden of Hendrickson Park. (Sept. 11, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

Dana Palmer was a young teenager when her father, FDNY deputy chief Orio Palmer, 45, died in the attack on the World Trade Center. Sunday’s 10-year anniversary ceremony in Valley Stream made her proud of him all over again, she said.

“This ceremony is a great way to honor his life,” said Palmer, 23, who attended with her sister Alyssa, 19, brother Keith, 21, and mother Debbie Palmer, 52.

The Palmers were among seven families from Valley Stream that lost a family member in the attack. Three of them attended the ceremony at the village’s 9/11 Memorial Garden in A.J. Hendrickson Park. They placed white roses on the 15-foot piece of World Trade Center steel anchoring the memorial.

People prayed. Many cried. Local Boy Scouts recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Village Trustee Dermond Thomas, 35, recalled being in Lower Manhattan 10 years ago and finding himself covered in dust and ash after the first tower fell. He started walking east and watched the second tower collapse from a spot on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“I always go to a ceremony every year,” Thomas said. “It re-opens the experience and it kind of hurts, but this is a much better way to deal with the tragedy” than being alone and scared, he said.

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