9/11 never forget: memorial ceremonies in Brooklyn

September 5, 2012 Editorial Staff
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Eleven years have passed since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the friends and families of the more than 3,000 victims are reminded every year that the entire world remembers their loved ones in a special way. From candle lightning ceremonies to patriotic musical performances, anniversary observances commemorate the innocent lives in many different ways.

Before 9/11

“The Night Before” is a special ceremony where everyone is welcome. It takes place at the Brooklyn Remembrance Wall at MCU Stadium in Coney Island on September 10, and it prepares the families for the next day. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. with an opportunity for friends and family to make a “little something special,” and “relate to their loved ones,” said Sol Moglen, the founder of the memorial wall.

A candle lighting ceremony will also take place, with two Fire Department chaplains and one from the NYPD saying a prayer for the heroes at the monument, which comprises three 30 x 12 foot granite walls that contain laser-engraved images of “346 Firefighters, 37 Port Authority Officers, 23 NYC Police Officers, 3 NYS Officers, 1 Fire Patrol, First responders and 1 K-9 Rescue dog named Sirius,” according to the website.

“What makes it so unique is that you get to see the faces and see who they are,” added Moglen, referring to the 417 faces on all of the three walls.

“We hope more people come to honor all the heroes,” he concluded.

On 9/11

State Senator Martin Golden will host two memorial ceremonies, one in Marine Park, at Fillmore Avenue and Marine Parkway, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, and a second at 7:30 p.m., on the American Veterans Memorial Pier, at Shore Road and Bay Ridge Avenue.

The memorial ceremonies will feature a program of inspirational speeches and patriotic song selection, as well as a candle lighting Vigil.

Family members of those lost at the World Trade Center will be in attendance.

“As we begin to think of how our world was changed almost 11 years ago on the morning of September 11, 2001, we must continue as a community to remember those we lost that day,” Golden stated.

“We must remember that our community lost many that morning, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, neighbors and friends, and if we are to make sure that their lives will never be forgotten, we must gather and make sure to remember,” he continued.

At Bill Brown Park, located on Avenue X between East 24th Street and Bedford Avenue, there will be the annual candle vigil with music and readings, starting at 6:30 p.m. The vigil will be held in a handball court, which “during the year, [acts as such]; but on that day [September 11] it is our memorial for those we lost,” explained Tina Gray, who is part of the Brooklyn Bedford Park 9/11 memorial committee.

The committee has been putting the ceremony together every year since 2001. The handball wall was painted by Ray Fiore, who on the day of the attack, went down to the World Trade Center to provide his help.

After seeing that there was nothing he could do, he decided to head back to the park and starting painting the mural. He had never painted before, said Gray, but he did it to commemorate all the lives that were lost on that day. Other people saw what he was doing and came by, dropping off food and water for him. He painted for days, Gray said.

In the center of the mural is the American flag, with an NYPD shield to the side, and the names of about 270 local residents who died in the World Trade Center.

This year, on the 11th anniversary, there will be some performances, and people singing. Mary Dwyer, who lost her sister, Lucy Fishman, will tell anecdotes of her loved one; in addition, Regina Coyle will speak of her son Jimmy Coyle, a firefighter, who lost his life giving others a chance to live.

After 9/11

The 11th annual Tunnel to Towers Run will take place beginning at 9:30 a.m., on Sunday September 30.

Sponsored by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the run commemorates the life of Stephen Siller, a firefighter who had just finished his morning shift on the morning of September 11, 2001. When hearing about the World Trade Center attack, he grabbed his 80 pounds of gear and ran nearly two miles through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, heading for the fire. That was the last run of his life. Thirty-four year-old Siller was never found, leaving behind a wife and five children.

Today, people from all over the world run in Siller’s memory. The run/walk — which is approximately 3.1 miles — starts in Brooklyn at the Ikea parking lot. A mass will precede the run at 7:30 a.m. at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, 98 Richards Street in Red Hook.

If you would like to register or obtain more information, visit www.tunneltotowers.org or call 718-987-1931.

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