The Town of North Castle will hold a Memorial Service on September 11, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at Wampus Brook Park, Armonk.
Residents and guests will attend the event that opens with a prayer lead by Reverend Nils Chittenden of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Supervisor Michael Schiliro will welcome everyone and read the names of North Castle residents who perished on September 11, 2001.
A wreath will be laid at the memorial monument by members of the Green Acres Garden Club, followed by the Ringing of Bells by North Castle’s first responders, members of the Color Guard and the American Legion Post 1097.
Reverend Chittenden will close with a prayer.
First Assistant Chief Rich Waterbury, Armonk Fire Department
Sept. 11, 2011 Thank you all for attending this ceremony today. My name is Rich Waterbury. When I was asked to speak today, I was both honored and terrified. Honored because of the pride it gives me to be a firefighter and part of the EMS System, and terrified because of the reason we are gathered today. When someone in our community needs help, we respond. When they are sick, we assist them. When they're in trouble, the call us. And we come.
10 years ago, on this date, thousands of people needed help. Were hurt. Were in trouble. Thousands. Civilians and EMS personnel alike. New York City was overwhelmed with the need for help. And we responded. I don't know if all of you know this but just about every fire department in the county was sent to Yonkers Raceway to a staging area and from there were sent to various fire departments in the city to backfill the personnel that was at Ground Zero and/or missing. One truck from each department. They called us, and we came.
Our time there was somber. We were scared, angry, and unsure of our surroundings. We didn't know what to expect. We didn't know anybody. But we didn't let that stop us. We did our job. We did our duty. We did what we could. Afterwards, when we came home, some of us felt compelled to do more. Help more. We got in our car and went to Ground Zero. We parked where we could and began walking. The streets were lined with people crying and cheering and yelling. Throwing flowers at us. Saluting us. Shaking our hands. Children were coming up and hugging us. It was the most emotional day of my life.
When we got to Ground Zero, we were literally in another world. Thousands and thousands of people doing anything and everything all at once. It was like a war zone. Military jets were flying overhead, police fire EMS and military personnel were there. The Red Cross. Search teams. Rescue dogs. The list goes on. While we were digging I met some firefighters from Chicago that were digging in the piles just next to me. I asked them what they were doing here and they told me that as soon as they learned what happened, they got into their trucks and started driving. To help. I then started noticing t-shirts and job shirsts. From all over. Near and far. Everyone coming to help.
We suffered a great loss that day. We learned a new definition of fear. Of pain. Of anger. But we also found resolve. Pride. Love. The ability to overcome our fear and pain and help those who need help. To put ourselves in harms way to assist others.
I will never forget that day, or the role that Westchester County, among many others, played in aiding a fellow community in a time of extreme struggle. God Bless.