Honoring the lost
Sept. 11 Memorial in Memorial Park is inscribed with the names of all 90 town victims.

IB/Finnegan

Honoring the lost

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
9/17/2015


ISLIP TOWN—Last Friday evening, Sept. 11, Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter and the members of the town board presided over a ceremony to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. As in previous years, the ceremony took place in Memorial Park in Islip, and beside the granite Sept. 11 Memorial inscribed with the 90 names of town residents who lost their lives on that fateful day. The event continues to bring together residents from all across the municipality as well as local elected officials. This year’s service began after a short processional that included the members of various fire departments, veterans service groups and the Suffolk County Police Emerald Society Pipe Band.

 “We continue to mourn, honor and remember…,” said Supervisor Carpenter. “The memory of those lost will continue to live forever in our hearts.”

Reverent silence fell over the crowd that had gathered as the firefighters and the members of the Lt. Michael Murphy Sea Cadet program in West Sayville all stood somberly at attention while town board members took turns reading the names of the victims, each name highlighted by the clang of a bell.

In his opening prayer, Rabbi Steven Moss, of B’nai Israel temple in Oakdale, implored a higher power to “help us not to forget the darkness of that day.” 

In his closing prayer, Msgr. Brian McNamara, of Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church in West Islip, asked for guidance and strength in order for people to work tirelessly toward a better world.

All of the words spoken there touched a young 20-something attendee,  Matthew Clareen of Islip, who said he attends the Islip Town Sept. 11 service every year. 

“I was in third grade [in 2001] and my mother told me what had happened,” he said. “I didn’t understand it then, but ever since that day, it had a profound impact on me.

“[Those events] moved me toward an interest in history.”

Clareen, a recent graduate of Dowling College, is currently working toward a teaching certification. He said the events of Sept. 11 would one day be a part of his curriculum.

“I would want my students to know about it and the patriotism in this country that resulted. On that day, our country changed.”