Aviv Centers for Living Hosts Event to Commemorate September 11, 2001
Residents and Guests Gather at Woodbridge Assisted Living in Peabody to Remember and Honor
Unlike September 11, 2001, Friday, September 11, 2009 was a cold damp day. However, it didn’t stop over one hundred senior residents and clients of Aviv Centers for Living; representatives of the police department, ambulance services, and invited guests from gathering at Woodbridge Assisted Living in Peabody to commemorate the solemn occasion and to honor those who serve us today.
Led by the Jewish War Veterans Color Guard, Stephen H. Neff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aviv Centers for Living; David Pliner, Chairman of the Board; Michael Bonfanti, Mayor of Peabody; Patience Tunison, Woodbridge resident and veteran of World War II; and Erik Darisse, son of a Woodbridge employee and member of the Army Reserves, made their way to the podium to share their thoughts with the assembled group.
David Pliner noted that the attacks of September 11 were not just attacks on the people and cities of America, but on the idea of a free, inclusive and civil society. Mayor Bonfanti reminded the group assembled that President Obama had declared the day a national day of service and remembrance.
“On September 11, 2001, in our greatest hour of adversity, we showed our greatest strength,” said Stephen Neff. “Our police officers, fire fighters, rescue workers, military personnel and health care workers entered burning crumpled building and said, ‘Not on my watch.’”
Erik Darisse concluded, “Soldiers carry the memory of 9/11 when they deploy. I am so proud to have deployed twice after 9/11 in defense of our country. ‘Never forget’ is our battle cry.” He also thanked Aviv Centers for Living for the encouragement and support the organization gave to his parents during his time in Iraq.
The Bridgewell Workshop Chorus movingly performed two songs during the ceremony to the grateful appreciation of the audience, Proud to be an American and Lean on Me.
The event ended with a blessing from Rabbi Mark Golub.