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Haverstraw town plans WTC memorial

(Original publication: July 7, 2002)

GARNERVILLE Haverstraw town is the latest community to announce plans for a memorial to local victims of the World Trade Center attack.

Town officials intend to dedicate the memorial sometime after Sept. 11 to avoid any conflict with first anniversary tributes in New York City. They want families who lost loved ones to have the opportunity to attend the town dedication.

Haverstraw town Supervisor Howard Phillips said the memorial will do more than serve as a reminder of the firefighters, police officers and others who died solely because they were American.

"This memorial will stand as a remembrance of the constant vigilance that we must have in order to keep the torch of liberty burning," Phillips said. "We will never forget, and our prayers and our thoughts are with the families who lost a loved one."

The memorial will include a centerpiece of black marble that will be flanked by two other slabs of polished stone.

The words "the price of freedom" will be inscribed across the top, with the phrase "so that we will never forget" across the bottom.

The names of the civilian victims will be on one side, while all emergency service personnel will be listed on the other. Some 70 people who lived in or had close ties to Rockland were killed in the attack on the Twin Towers.

The images of New York City Police Officer John Coughlin and New York City firefighters Greg Sikorsky and Thomas Schoales will be on the centerpiece.

Coughlin was a member of the NYPD's elite Emergency Services Unit. He lived in Pomona and was a longtime volunteer with the David B. Roche Fire Department in Thiells.

The town will pay special tribute to Coughlin, who was the only emergency services worker from Haverstraw killed on Sept. 11. The memorial will note that he made "the ultimate sacrifice for duty, honor and service to mankind."

Sikorsky, who lived in Wesley Hills, was a longtime volunteer with the Hillcrest Fire Department. He worked out of the Hillcrest-Mount Ivy fire station, which responds to parts of Haverstraw town.

Schoales was the only other emergency services member from northern Rockland to be killed on Sept. 11. He lived in Stony Point.

The community can participate in the tribute by purchasing brick pavers that will become part of the memorial. A 4-inch-by-8-inch paver costs $250, and an 8-inch-by-8-inch paver costs $500. Each brick can be inscribed with a maximum of three lines. Each line can have a maximum of 13 characters.

Inscriptions and checks must be received at Town Hall by July 26. Mail them to 1 Rosman Road, Garnerville, N.Y. 10923, or drop them off. Call 429-2200 for more information.

Haverstraw's effort is just the latest tribute to those killed. Spring Valley honored the victims during a special ceremony yesterday.

Last month, Orangetown honored the victims with a large memorial that featured an eagle. Also, a twisted steel beam from one of the towers became the memorial at the Franklin Avenue Elementary School in Pearl River.

In May, the Nyack High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association dedicated a memorial garden at the school, and Stony Point dedicated a memorial at Town Hall that was designed by Cadet Girl Scout Troop 105.

During the Haverstraw Little League's opening day in April, a plaque honoring the victims and heroes of Sept. 11 was unveiled.