By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The 9th annual Children of Abraham Peace Walk, held on Tuesday, September 11, honored the memory of those who perished 11 years ago in the terror attacks, and showed that clergy, elected government leaders, safety personnel and citizens of all faiths still work together to build solidarity in their communities.
This year’s Children of Abraham Peace Walk also honored the victims of a natural disaster.
Rev. Tom Martinez said that the decision to hold this year’s Peace Walk in Cobble Hill was in solidarity with Christ Church, where tragedy took place during a thunderstorm on July 26. Lightning struck the church, sending scaffolding and masonry onto the ground and killing a passer-by. The church had been in the process of repairing damage from previous storms at the time.
Participants in the walk gathered east of the barricade and took a moment of silence to honor the deceased and the parishioners who had lost their spiritual home. Neighboring houses of worship, from the Kane Street Synagogue to Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen’s, as well as other churches, have opened their doors to Christ Church’s ministry programs, the Linden Tree Preschool and 12-step meetings that had been held here.
Officers from the 84th Precinct, both on foot and in scooters and in cars, escorted the Peace Walk participants, blocking traffic at intersections, so that the group could stay together when crossing streets. At each stop, hosting clergy thanked the 84th Precinct for their work.
Religious leaders who have organized this event for many years include Rev. Martinez Rabbi Ellen Lippmann and Debbie Almontaser.
Joining them were Dr. Ahmad Jaber of the Dawood Mosque, Naji Almontaser, Mohammed Judeh, City Councilman Robert Jackson (D-Upper Manhattan), City Councilman Brad Lander (D-Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens) and NYC Comptroller John Liu.
Additional clergy who took part included Rabbi Sam Weintraub and Rabbi Valerie Lieber of the Kane Street Synagogue; Rabbi Simkha Weintraub, who has taken part in other Children of Abraham Walks and Dialogue Project events; Fr. Michael Perry, pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Flatbush; Rabbi Serge Lippe of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue; The Rev. Dr. David Fisher and the Rev. Al Bunis of Plymouth Church, and Pastor David Rommereim of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge. State Senator Daniel Squadron also greeted the Peace Walkers at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue.
On the way to the Promenade, the Peace Walk made a planned stop at the Middagh Street firehouse, where the entire shift of Engine Company/Hook & Ladder 118 were killed during rescue efforts at the Twin Towers on 9/11. Rev. Martinez and children participating in the Peace Walk presented the firefighters on duty twith a gift basket.
The Peace Walk concluded on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where participants joined an interfaith 9/11 service. Clergy and lay leaders from several Heights congregations, including the Danish Seamen’s Church, read a prayer or a saying from their holy scriptures.