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Monticello FD remembers 9/11

By Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO — September 14, 2010 — The Monticello Fire Department paid its annual homage to “The Day That Changed Our Lives”on a morning with golden sunshine and deep blue skies – much like the one on September 11, 2001.
Ex-chief and emcee Alan Kesten lamented how the true meaning of the day has been lost with the recent media attention on the “Ground Zero Mosque” and “Koran burning.”
“What happened to the stories of 9/11 survivors, firefighters, police officers, EMS personnel and construction workers – and all the health issues attributed to the rescue and cleanup effort?” Kesten asked. “What happened to the flags that were flying on every home in America, on every car on the road?”
Kesten went on to note, “September 11th 2001 changed our lives in more ways than we may ever remember. As you look to your left and right, if you see a child, ask them what 9/11 means and what happened on that day. If they can’t answer, we have failed!”
Kesten, like keynote speaker Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, singled out Jack Genovese of Mongaup Valley, who lost his son, Steven, that horrible morning.
“I’ve met Jack, and you see it in his eyes how [the loss] affected his family and his life,” said Gunther, who noted she had just come from a ceremony in the Town of Deerpark where an artifact from the Twin Towers had been put on display.
“I encourage all of you to visit [the memorial] and bring your children,” Gunther said.
“Think about the lives that were lost and the heroism of the [first responders] that day,” Gunter said. “Speak of their heroism and unselfishness to the generations to come.… Together, we can make a difference, and together, we can comfort each other in times of despair.”
Joining fire department members in the honor guard were other firefighters, and representatives from the New York State Police, Monticello PD and Sheriff’s Office. They were accompanied by bagpiper Terry Mullins.
Boy Scouts from Troop 101 of Rock Hill led the Pledge of Allegiance and Albee Bochman sang the national anthem and “God Bless America.”

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