Commack Night of Remembrance honors Sept. 11 first responders, victims
At a somber, sunset ceremony, the Commack community remembered the nearly 3,000 lives lost during the Sept. 11 attacks.
This year, the community paid special tribute to the families of first responders who died from illnesses related to their work digging through what remained at Ground Zero.
Debbie Virga, of Commack schools community relations, says about 1,600 people have died post Sept. 11.
Among the widows of first responders is Jennifer McNamara, of Blue Point. Her husband, FDNY Firefighter John McNamara, died of cancer in 2009.
Nancy Devlin's husband, 9/11 first responder John Devlin, died six months ago after a 5-year battle with throat cancer.
"I want them to remember that this isn't the end. It just goes on. It's every single day there's more people getting sick," said Devlin.
John Feal, of the Feel Good Foundation, promised to fight for the extension of the Zadroga 9/11 Care Act.
"We pray for the dead, but tomorrow we're back at it, fighting like hell for the living," said Feal.
The Commack Night of Remembrance ceremony has been held every year since Sept. 11. Organizers say they plan to continue the tradition for years to come because it shows patriotism and respect for the families of the fallen.