Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and the entire Town Board joined with hundreds affected by the terrorist attacks of 9-11 at Long Island’s largest September 11th memorial program along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline at Point Lookout Town Park. The interactive ceremony involved guests at the service through the casting of carnations in a reflecting pool, writing the names of victims on a 35-foot-long “remembrance mural,” and the placement of miniature American Flags at the base of a 9-11 sand monument. This year’s program also included remarks by two people who have endured the death of their siblings at Ground Zero, as well as the unveiling of a rendering of Hempstead Town’s planned permanent 9-11 monument.
“Hempstead Town’s September 11th program is a powerful event that holds great meaning for thousands of Long Islanders,” stated Santino. “We gather every year on the sands of Point Lookout beach, the same place that hundreds of neighbors assembled in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks looking to the west in horror and disbelief. Is it any wonder that thousands of people come to Point Lookout each year on 9-11?”
The ceremony included remarks by two people who had their siblings snatched from them in the attacks on Ground Zero. Kerri Kiefer-Viverito, the sister of a hero FDNY firefighter, Michael Kiefer, recounted her brother’s enduring legacy, and discussed her personal tribute to her brother, participating in Hempstead Town’s Triathlon the day before the 9-11 ceremony. Her brother took part in the event two days prior to September 11th in 2001. Joining this powerful woman was Jeffrey Morgenstern, the brother of Nancy Morgenstern, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald at the time of her death. Devout in her faith and dedicated to helping others, a memorial fund in Nancy’s name has assisted countless people in the United States and Israel with healthcare, religious guidance and financial assistance.
The backdrop for the town’s 9-11 program featured a 15-foot-tall reverse shadow box of the iconic towers set against a 35-foot-long “remembrance mural” of the skyline of the “world’s capital.” A reflecting pool and sand monument were at the foot of the towers and skyline.
Also at the ceremony, the public heard reflections on 9-11 by members of Long Island’s clergy and Supervisor Santino. Musical performances by the Kellenberg Gregorian Consortium and various soloists were part of the program. Two fire department flag arches greeted guests, and the waters of the Atlantic provided a setting of solace and healing.
“Through friends, family members, colleagues and everyone who was touched by those who were killed on 9-11, the legacy and influence of people like Michael and Nancy remains alive,” Santino said. “Their memory has been honored; people who never even met them have felt the profound power of their spirit and good works, and our world continues to be a better place because of them.”