DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. With the New York City skyline visible on the horizon, Dobbs Ferry gathered on Sunday night to reflect on the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.
"I fear at times that this day is slowly slipping out of the minds of people," said Neil Sweeting, first assistant chief of the Dobbs Ferry Fire Department, as he fought back tears. "But I pray that we never forget."
Leaders in the Dobbs Ferry community spoke in front of the memorial plaque at Waterfront Park as they shared their thoughts on 9/11.
"In Dobbs Ferry we are really proud and really lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers and professional responders who are there to help us when we are in our time of need," said Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett.
Maryellen Laino, whose husband Tim Stout died in the 9/11 attacks, volunteered to speak at the ceremony and thanked all of Dobbs Ferry for its support.
"Tim Stout was a different kind of hero," she said. "Tim Stout was a loving family man. He worked on the World Trade Center on the 103rd floor simply because he could get home for dinner every night at 6 o'clock."
Laino detailed the morning of 9/11 and what she vividly remembered from before her husband left for work.
"That day he kissed me," she said. "When he walked out the door that morning I remember thanking God out loud, 'Thank you Lord for this beautiful life I have.'"
It was the "human kindness" of Dobbs Ferry that helped Laino start to heal from the tragedy. Laino said neighbors brought food to her doorstep and it was the support and prayers of others that helped her remain strong in the face of adversity.
Connett ended his speech with seven powerful words that left the huddled crowd in silence.
"God bless Dobbs Ferry," he said. "God bless America."
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