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9/11 and its Aftermath Remembered in Yorktown

YORKTOWN, N.Y.-- Town Clerk Alice Roker remembers where she was on 9/11 and what she first thought of but said there’s something else that she will truly never forget.

“You were able to see what Yorktowners are really like in terms of giving back,” Roker said. “I think everything people did in the days after to help their neighbors and their community really sums up what Yorktown is.”

Roker said she remembers being in the Supervisor’s office, who was Linda Cooper at the time, on the day of the attacks. She said everyone did anything they could to help. Roker said she remembered Cooper planning to hold a candlelight vigil following the attacks. Roker said the outpouring was huge to console those who had been affected or were just as in shock as she was.

“I can just never forget doing everything we possibly could, anything we could to try and ease their burden,” she said.

Cooper said the impromptu candlelight vigil was expanded to the gazebo adjacent to the John C. Hart Library, which was instantly designated to become a memorial. Cooper said for every year thereafter the events, a memorial was held purposefully.

“We were able to bring people together in an artful way, in a way that kept people remembering what happened without getting too brought back into it, it was good,” she said.

As Supervisor, Cooper remembers the actions of the volunteers in Yorktown who went to New York City to do what they could.

“There was just a galvanizing of actions, all of our EMS and volunteers, everyone in the region joined together to be able to pitch in and be available,” she said.

To Roker, that outpouring of support, the choices people made to do what they could to come together as a community, shows that the goal of those who plotted the attacks were not achieved.

“I think they were jealous. I think they were jealous of our free will, of our opportunities to do what we want to do and be who we want to be,” she said. “In the days after, I couldn’t understand what had happened, why someone would so something so evil. But we have free will, our community had the choice to come together and that’s exactly what we did.”

The Daily Yorktown will continually publish stories from the viewpoint of residents and volunteers throughout the weekend. Check back tomorrow for coverage of the different memorial services around town, and a look at what Yorktown volunteers experienced.

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