“Somebody once said the rain represents the tears,” Riverdale resident and accomplished poet and author Beth SK Morris told a crowd of soaked people Monday at the Endor Community Garden and 9/11 Memorial.
The more than 30 people who showed up in the thunder storm at 5 p.m. for the annual Sept. 11 memorial services led by Laura and Rob Spalter certainly could attest to the fact there were many tears shed Monday. They honored the lives of the 24 people from greater Riverdale, including first responders, who died on 9/11 with Laura Spalter reading off their names followed by a moment of silence.
Almost on cue, the latest in the pop-up storms nearly drowned out the speeches by the Spalters, St. Margaret of Cortona Rev. Brian McCarthy and the electeds. But one voice that stood clear Monday was that of Morris. She read a poem she wrote that was on the last page of her book “In the Aftermath: 9/11 Through a Volunteers Eyes.”
“I was a volunteer at the Ground Zero relief project that supplied all the recovery crew and sites,” Morris said. “I went there for a weekend and wound up staying twice a week for five months.”
Laura Spalter, former Community Board 8 chair, set the tone for the ceremony.
“We all shared that they were husbands, wives, brother, sisters, good friends, colleagues beloved by professionals in the professional lives,” Spalter said. “And we will never forget them.”
The electeds in attendance — Assembly Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Eric Dinowitz — focused on how the terrible event actually brought neighbors together to look out for each other.
“It’s important for my grandsons who are here today and you are less than 25 years old, you don’t remember what happened,” the Assemblyman said. “If you are less than 30, you probably don’t remember. And it’s so important for all of us to remember that day and what it means.”
Councilman Dinowitz, who was in high school on 9/11, brought up how important it is to remember those who died and do good deeds in their names.
“This Thursday we will be voting on a resolution urging Congress to make 9/11 a national holiday,” the Councilman said.
“We are doing everything we can do to remember in action and in deed. And Laura and Rob, we thank you for holding this annual event in Endor Garden.”