Generally Speaking: Remembering 9/11 on the 69th Street Pier

September 19, 2014 Theodore W. General
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We have an unbroken record of attending the annual remembrance tribute on the American Veterans Memorial Pier. The world and this nation were shocked by the unprovoked and horrific terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and United Flight 93 flying over Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Each year, as we mourn the loss of over 3,000 persons who were killed that day, we also thank God and our lucky stars that we weren’t still working on the 14th floor of the South Tower. Back in the late sixties and into the seventies, we spent 10 years toiling for a state agency at the World Trade Center.

At this 13th anniversary commemoration, State Senator Marty Golden once again hosted the memorial ceremonies that were emceed by Bill Guarinello, president of the Fort Hamilton Citizens Action Committee and chair of Community Board 11. Bill is also the former chair of the Brooklyn Remembers Committee which brought the permanent Brooklyn 9/11 Monument, a 25-foot tall bronze sculpture fashioned into old-fashioned fireman’s speaking trumpet, to the former ferry wharf.

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Golden was joined by Colonel Joseph Davidson, Fort Hamilton Army Garrison commander; Command Sergeant Major Kevin Fauntleroy, a Brooklyn native; Army Chaplain Major Eric Meyners; City Councilmember Vincent Gentile; New York State Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, New York State Supreme Court Justice John Ingram; Reverend Khader El-Yateem; and Reverend Greg McIhenney of St. Patrick’s Church.

With the New York City Joint Armed Services Color Guard standing at rigid attention, the National Anthem was sung by Therese Panicali who also later sang “God Bless America” and other musical selections. The program also included a candlelight procession, a moment of silence, a 21-gun rifle salute, Taps by Joseph Loposky, the musical director at Xaverian High School, the release of nine and 11 yellow balloons, and the concluding song, “God Bless the USA,” by retired Army Sergeant Louis Licalzi.

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With the local political scene starting to heat up, a series of local debates is on the horizon. The Bay Ridge Community Council is the first venue out the gate with its sponsorship of “The Great Bay Ridge Debate,” on Tuesday, September 23, at 7:30 p.m., in the school auditorium of OLA’s Holy Angels Catholic Academy, followed by the Bay Ridge Council on Aging which holds its candidates forum on Wednesday, October 1, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., at the Fort Hamilton Senior Center, 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway, to be followed by the Bay Ridge Real Estate Board and the Dyker Heights Civic Association.  Their dates are yet to be announced.

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This past weekend, the Great Irish Fair, an annual staple near the MCU ballpark in Coney Island, took place.  Congratulations to the  2014 honorees who included the  Chief Brehon (Grand Marshal) Award to Jim McKenna, Colleen Queen Award to Tara Muldoon, Irish Man of the Year to John Tully, Round Tower Award to Edward Clancy, Bard of the Fair to Michael Dolan, Paul O’Dwyer Award to Mary Nolan,  Woman of the Year Award to Maureen McCormack, P.O. Edward Byrne Award to Chief Michael Shea, Celtic Cross Award to Sister Theresa Ryan, the Captain Timothy Stackpole Award to Vincent O’Grady and the Father Michael Judge Award to Monsignor Kieran Harrington.

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