CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Buchanan-Cortlandt-Croton 9/11 Remembrance Memorial, which task force volunteers named, "Reaching through the Shadows," was dedicated Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 to a crowd of more than 200.
"We were strangers, now we're family," said Sara Sprance, a task force member who helped fundraise and organize for the memorial. Sprance's husband, Randall Sprance, died of illness, after responding to ground zero. He was a second responder and special agent for the federal Treasury Department, she said.
Volunteer Project Director Janet Mainiero read the names of seven Cortlandt residents who died on Sept. 11, 2001, or as a result of responding to the scene. During the ceremony, she thanked several construction companies who donated their services to complete the project and officials from the two villages and the town for their support through the project.
Before the ceremony, numerous first responder agencies that serve Buchanan, Cortlandt and Croton marched the half-mile from the parking lot on Elliot Way, to the northern-most point of Croton Landing Park, where the memorial is installed. Park-goers stepped to the side or stopped to listen to Stephen Gara as bagpipes lead a procession of police and volunteer firefighters, followed by a crowd of nearly 100 government officials and attendees of the ceremony.
"Every year I get up to listen to all of the names," said Mary Cain, mourning stepmother of FDNY firefighter George Cain who died on Sept. 11, 2001. "But now I was coming here today," she said she felt, "lighthearted."
To date, a large boulder has been moved to a footing at Croton Landing, where a 14-foot, one-ton piece of twisted steel from the north World Trade Center tower was mounted to it as a sundial. Medallions depicting events of Sept. 11, 2001 are not yet permanently installed, but were on-site and placed approximately where they will mark hours on the sundial.
"There is still additional work to be done," Mainiero said. She said "phase two" of the project, a cast bronze statue of a woman, reaching toward the steel beam, is scheduled to be completed Sept. 11, 2013.
Cortlandt residents who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, or as a result of responding to the scene, are William Abrahamson, George Cain, Stephen Driscoll, Greg Rodriguez, Thomas Sinton, Randall Sprance and Joseph Zuccala.