It was a sunny Tuesday, much like the weather on 9/11 this year, if a touch warmer back in 2001.
Fire Commissioner Richard Surozenski remembers. He serves the Village of Dering Harbor and that morning was carrying a load of garbage to be dumped at the town’s Recycling Center.
As he passed Our Lady of the Isle Cemetery, he heard the first news on the radio and, like most people, thought the initial plane that struck the north tower of the World Trade Center was a terrible accident.
It would not be long before a second plane would strike the south tower.
“Then I knew it was something more,” Mr. Surozenski said.
Firefighter Steve Lenox was at his restaurant — today’s Islander was Pat and Steve’s in those days.
“I was in the kitchen when the milkman arrived and told us,” he said, a touch of a tears in his eyes.
A flag hung across the roadway from the Center firehouse and a firefighter’s jacket and boots sat at the base of a truck, a tribute to those who gave their lives in those acts of terrorism.
Monday morning a contingent of fire commissioners and firefighters gathered at the memorial at the corner of North Ferry Road and Thomas Street for a brief moment to remember those who perished at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a grassy field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
It was a brief moment of silence, a hymn sung by auxiliary member Anita Cicero and back to tending to the work of the day.
But all who were there were old enough to remember how a sunny day turned to devastation and memoriestaht will never fade.