DVE-News/TV reporters from Delaware Valley Elementary School were invited by Florence Santini, Deerpark town clerk, to attend and participate in the 9/11 Deerpark Memorial Service.
When we arrived, we recited the pledge led by Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois and had a moment of silence. The National Anthem was played by the Broome Street Band.
The Town of Deerpark Supervisor, Gary Spears, welcomed us. There were many speakers who spoke of that day when people experienced great evil. However, after that happened, everyone came together to help each other. They said to never forget about the heroes who risked their lives for us.
Then the Port Jervis High School Chamber Choir played a special 9/11 song and played other songs while we were asked to hang ribbons on the remembrance tree to remember those we lost: Doug Miller, Michael Cammarata, Gary Geidel and Michelle Renee Bratton. Officials also hung up their bows.
Then people were asked to come up and share their experience from 9/11. Mary and Bill Bratton stood and spoke about their daughter Michelle, who died, when she was 23 years old and worked in the Twin Towers.
Mrs. Catherine Westfall asked us to come up and sing God Bless America with her.
Always do the right thing
Everyone was then invited to go inside for refreshments. We first interviewed Bill and Mary Bratton. They told us their tragic story about their daughter and how she passed away in the Twin Towers. Mary Bratton had missed her daughter’s phone call early that morning, but after the first tower was hit, Michelle called her mother and, sadly, that was the last Mary Bratton heard from her. They asked us to always be kind, not to bully, and to always do the right thing, because you never know how much you can change a person’s life with one kind gesture.
Next, Lieutenant Joe Rennish was interviewed. He spoke about the United States and the loss of his friends, his fellow firefighters.
Deerpark Chief of Police Richard Sztyndor and Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden were up next for an interview. Chief Sztyndor was not there but recalled that he was with family. The neighbors came over to tell them. The United States changed after 9/11 by making safer changes in the airports. People changed and helped each other, no matter who they were.
Last, we interviewed the Town of Deerpark Supervisor, Gary Spears. He had no family in the towers, but he had friends close by the towers. When asked about advice to children who may be scared of something happening again, he said to listen to the adults and to stay calm.
We all agree that it was a great experience, and we met a lot of people who were very welcoming. We got to see the beam from the Trade Towers. We highly recommend that people go if they get the chance to next year. We will never forget 9/11.
By DVE-News/TV reporters Taylor Allen, Logan Clarke, Keira LeMay, Archit Patel, and William Fells.