WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – There wasn't a cloud in the sky Tuesday morning, something Oliver Sosa of White Plains said reminded him of the morning of 9/11.
"It's an identical day to when that tragedy happened," said Sosa, who was listening to "Imus in the Morning" on the radio when the World Trade Center was hit. "There wasn't a cloud from horizon to horizon."
Sosa and his wife, Nora Sosa-Iles, attended the city's annual commemorative ceremony at Liberty Park on Tuesday, where they remembered the six White Plains residents who lost their lives that day. Among them was their niece Linda Sheehan, who was killed in the north tower of the World Trade Center.
"Linda had the heartiest laugh," Sosa-Iles said. "We have to keep that laughter, that warmth in our heart."
Sosa-Iles said her son Patrick, 20, would talk to his cousin Linda every day, and wrote a two-page poem in her memory after 9/11. Sosa-Iles, a lifelong White Plains resident, said her son's poem relays a message of peace and not hate.
"The end says we don't want this event and the people that did it to teach us to hate," she said.
White Plains' other fallen residents are Sharon Balkom, Marisa Dinardo, Hemanth Kumar Puttur, Gregory Rodriguez and Joe Riverso.
The 30-minute ceremony began with a prayer by Rabbi Lester Bronstein and the raising of the flag. Mayor Thomas Roach said it has become tradition to keep the ceremony short and simple. He encouraged those present to remember not only the loss and sadness felt that day, but also the heroism of the first responders.
"I think as we sit here today and we look at this beautiful vista and we sit in this tranquil area, it gives us a chance to remember how we felt on that day," Roach said.
Joe Riverso's sister also attended with her young daughter. Before the ceremony, Marisa Dinardo's mother brought flowers and a framed photograph that was placed by the permanent memorial.