Patrick Danahy was a loving son, brother, husband and father, his mother, Mary Anne Danahy, said on Sunday, Sept. 11, the 10-year anniversary of Patrick's death.
"He really had it together," she said.
Mary Anne and husband Frank attended a memorial service at Hollow Park on Sunday. Afterwards, they walked to the stone that serves as a memorial to those who died that day who had a tie to the New England town: David Carlone, Patrick Danahy, Evan Hunter Gillette and Dianne Snyder. Each website contains a link to an online guestbook where people continue to leave condolences and messages.
Mary Anne said her 35-year-old son had a wife named Mary and three children -- Alison, Katie and Grace. Grace was born one month after September 11, 2001.
Mary Anne updated neighbors on how Mary had married a nice man who was helpful to her and her children.
"God is good," said Mary Anne.
Remembering the Day
One common memory uttered by more than one person was how beautiful and blue the sky was, 10 years ago yesterday.
Eileen Denver remembers the sky that day. She attended the Hollow Park service because she felt it was better to be with people.
Selectman George Hale agreed. He said people struggle with how to grieve on days like September 11 because grieving is a personal experience.
"But today is different," said Hale. "We not only grieve personally, but as a nation. The person at the coffee shop, or behind you in line at the supermarket or walking toward you on the street, are sharing grief."
But grief is not the only experience shared after September 11: hope, memories and support are freely given.
A Red Rose on Her Porch
Every year, on the anniversary of Patrick's death, Mary Anne said Woodbury resident Bud Neal leaves a red rose on her doorstep. This year, he gave a bouquet of 12 red and white roses to Mary Anne and a woman with ties to David Carlone, husband of Beverly Deschino Carlone.
Beverly and David met in Woodbury, while working for a manufacturing company, according to the September 11 legacy website about David.
After September 11, keeping the memory of the victims alive becomes paramount. But one must not forget the survivors and family members dealing with the grief of that day still.
That is why Neal leaves the red rose on the doorstep of Danahy's home. He said the bouquet he gave this year contains red roses for remembrance and white roses for innocence.
As Neal walked back to his car after the memorial service, he said he needed to deliver the other two bouquets he had, in memory of Evan Hunter Gillette and Dianne Snyder.
Out of tragedy comes these kinds of moments: a neighbor helping a neighbor, reminding them that their grief is shared and they are not alone.
In the aftermath of a tragic situation, there exists the opportunity for people to rise above the negativity and display valor and courage. It takes courage to remember but not dwell, to honor without hindering growth. That is the responsibility of those who survive. Neal has taken on that role via , roses and quiet strength.