For the past 12 years the City of Mount Vernon has paid tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in the attack on Manhattan’s World Trade Center and the men and women who responded to the call for assistance. Of the thousands who lost their lives, five Mount Vernon residents were included among the casualties on that fateful day.
On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, Mount Vernon will hold a ceremony to mourn the loss of those fallen during the attack and to acknowledge emergency response in the rescue and recovery efforts during the hours and days following the attack. Mayor Ernest D. Davis is reminding residents that just as the city came together a a community and a nation after the attacks, residents must continue to combat those forces that threaten to destroy the quality of life and liberties for all Americans.
Mount Vernon sent emergency responders and public works personnel to join others from across the tri-state area and around the nation in search of victims following the attack in 2001. Recovery and cleanup efforts continued for many years. No trace has been identified for about half the victims, despite the use of advanced DNA techniques to identify individuals. Residents who lost their lives in the attack were Michael A. Boccardi (age 30), Jonathan Eric Briley (age 43), Sandra Patricia Campbell (age 45), Kathie Marie McCloskey (age 26) and Rochelle Monique Snell (age 24).
“While the events of 12 years ago will forever remain etched in our memories, we are moving forward, fully aware that the tragic circumstances of September 11, 2001 should never happen again”, said Mayor Ernest D. Davis. “I encourage members of the community of Mount Vernon to stand with me, other elected officials and clergy members in memory of the lives lost, and in tribute to the brave men and women who stepped forward in solidarity for our community and our nation”.
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Jonathan Eric Briley, the son of Marie and Alexander Briley, received his elementary and secondary education in Mount Vernon. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University, Jonathan worked as a Sound Engineer for various corporations such as Arrowwood in Rye Brook, New York, The Hilton, The Marriott, and Windows On The World at the World Trade Center. Jonathan is thought to be “The Falling Man,” the subject of photographs by Richard Drew.
Michael A. Boccardi was born in Mount Vernon to Michael Roy Boccardi and Carol Ann Shaw Boccardi. During his elementary school years, Michael entered Cub Scouts and much to his Cub Scout Master’s surprise, went up the ranks and became Eagle Scout. Although he moved away from his hometown, his devotion to scouting and the boys made him come back each week to his old troop where he eventually became Scout Master of Troop 40 in Mount Vernon. Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – “Scout Law” – was the code he lived by. Scouting was his passion.
Sandra Patricia Campbell was a computer programmer at Cantor Fitzgerald who, although she made a good living, preferred not to go on vacation but to spend her time and resources helping others. He last goodwill act was to call her 5 year old godson and promise him a second book bag for school.
Three months after arriving in New York from South Bend, Indiana, Kathie Marie McCloskey reported to her help desk on the 97th floor of 1 World Trade Center. Only six weeks on the job at Marsh & McLennan, Kathie’s dreams of making it big in New York were ended.
Rochelle Monique Snell, an administrative assistant and whiz on computers at Regus, an office- leasing company in Tower 2. She shared a house with her sister and mother in Mount Vernon, N.Y, where rose bushes and marigolds brighten the front yard.