Dozens of people came to Rockefeller State Park Preserve for a Buddhist ceremony to honor those lost in the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and also those killed by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last March.
Clare Pierson, the president of the Friends of Rockefeller State Park Preserve and the great granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. told the crowd, "Westchester got hit hard on 9/11. Many of you lost loved ones or know people who did. This is a way of honoring them and to also celebrate their lives. We also thanks the first responders as well as all the servicemen and women. That's from our hearts here at the park."
The Venerable Thich Tri Hoang travelled from Houston to lead the Buddhist ceremony at the park's Swan Lake, leading the large group on a meditative walk down along the path to the lake shore where he lead a brief prayer service along with Reverand Fernando Camacho of Croton, and Reverand Hoshi Matsubayashi of the New York Buddhist Church.
Each visitor was urged to write a name or message on a paper lantern which, with the help of members of Boy Scout Troup 1 from Valhalla, were lit and set adrift in the lake. The daylight was fading as dozens of the lanterns floated in the current across the lake's surface as people stood quietly as a japanese drummer banged out a solemn beat.