MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – Hundreds of residents from around Westchester County attended a tribute ceremony held at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla Sunday evening to honor those who were lost in the tragic attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The quiet and somber ceremony took place in front of "The Rising," the county's September 11 memorial.
"I thought the ceremony was very beautiful and moving," said Greenburgh resident Carol Calhoun. "It was a very tragic day that we didn't ask for and it's important for us to come together and remember,"
The names of all 123 Westchester County residents who died on September 11 were read by family members and county legislators. Performances by the New Rochelle High School Concert Chorale and the Westchester Philharmonic highlighted the ceremony.
Tahira Piracha, a resident of Stamford, Conn., was attending the ceremony with a group of friends from Scarsdale and said the ceremony was a great way to unify area residents.
"I think the ceremony was beautiful," Piracha said. "It reminds us of all those people that died that day, which is sad, but remembering will hold us all together and I think makes us stronger."
County Executive Rob Astorino and County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins gave remarks to the crowd and urged all to remember the innocent people who lost their lives and to never forget the significance of that tragedy.
"It says something about the magnitude of this particular moment in American history that 10 years after the fact, it is still so fresh in all of our minds," Jenkins said.
The hour-long tribute was concluded with a rendition of "Amazing Grace" performed by the Police Emerald Society of Westchester Pipes and Drums along with the New Rochelle High School choir and Westchester Philharmonic. Almost the entire crowd participated in singing.
For White Plains resident, Suzanne Kurz, the ceremony was beautiful, yet it was difficult to overcome the emotions of the day, even a decade years later.
"Even though I didn't lose any loved ones that day, it's tough for me to talk about it without crying," Kurz said. "It was just a horrific day and I think it still is a hard day for our country."