Members of local fire, police and emergency crews and several community members were on hand Sept. 11 at the Rockland Fire Department to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11.

Chris Whytock, president of the local firefighters' union, spoke to the audience to reflect and remember all that was lost on the morning of 9/11.

"They made the ultimate sacrifice," said Wytock.

Whytock said the Fire Departments of New York Brotherhood publishes stories of those who lost their lives on 9/11. He shared two brief stories.

One of the youngest New York firefighters to parish on 9/11 — Michael Cammarata of Company 11. He was 22 years old and had been on the job only nine weeks. On his way to the scene he left a message for his father telling him he loved him and tell his mother goodbye. He was the son of a firefighter. His brother is now also a firefighter.

Another firefighter was at the doctors across the bridge at the time of the attacks. Without hesitation he went to the scene. He stopped at the firehouse on his way and left a message. "Please hold my stuff and tell my family I love them."

"We will never forget," said Wytock.

Mayor Larry Pritchett noted several other dates that people remember, including the Boston Marathon bombing, the Olympic bombing in Atlanta, Hurricane Katrina, among others.

"I note these other six dates today because each of these were dates of tremendous tragedy and enormous challenge for people in this country," said Pritchett.

He noted men and women, not unlike those who serve our communities, responded and saved many lives.

"I challenge each of you to learn the professional lessons we need to learn from these tragedies," said Pritchett.

Members of Rockland American Legion Post 1 gave a salute and Don Robishaw played taps, while onlookers remembered and reflected.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at