With the 13th anniversary of 9/11 came a day of remembrance marked nationwide with a string of memorials and moments of silence held borough wide to commemorate the day, as New Yorkers proved, once again, that they will not falter in the wake of tragedy.
“Some of our guys lost family and friends on 9/11 but, at the end of the day, we’re all from New York and we all love this country,” said Rob, nicknamed “Burnout,” of the Hallowed Sons Motorcycle Club. The Bay Ridge-based club, for the first time ever, held a run through the streets of Bay Ridge to honor the lives lost and those living on in their memory.
“With everything going on, we just want to fly the American flag,” he said of the club-wide ride that kicked off at Fourth Avenue and Shore Road around 5 p.m. and ended at State Senator Marty Golden’s annual 9/11 memorial at the American Veterans Memorial Pier at Shore Road and Bay Ridge Avenue at 7:30 p.m. “We don’t feel the flag is flown enough.”
Nevertheless, the club was greeted by a sea of red, white and blue at the pier where Golden – joined by Emcee Bill Guarinello, colleagues in government, servicemen and women and the family and friends of lost loved ones, among others – honored the almost 3,000 victims killed that day as well as those that have perished in the years following with a number of speeches and patriotic song selections as well as a candle-lighting vigil and a 21-gun salute.
“As we gather here today as a community, as a neighborhood of Brooklynites and New Yorkers and as Americans, we stand here still with pain in our hearts, tears in our eyes and images before us of our darkest days,” said Golden, standing near Brooklyn’ 9/11 memorial with a view of the World Trade Center site behind him. “We gather here to pay our respects on the 13th anniversary of September 11, remembering how beautiful a Tuesday morning it was, and recalling where we were when we heard that the Twin Towers were struck by airplanes as an act of terrorism.
“This memorial is to remember those lives we lost; to remember our mothers and fathers, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors who were robbed from us,” he went on, commending Colonel Joseph Davidson for hosting what the senator called an “outstanding” ceremony at the Fort Hamilton Army Base earlier in the day. “We remember that those citizens were taken from us at the hands of cowards who attacked this nation because of what and who we are. Here in the United States of America, we have freedom.”
Above all, Golden commended the communities of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst for “coming together as one” that fateful day, and growing only stronger as one in the years after.
“We stand here this evening remembering the family and friends lost in numerable acts of courage and sacrifice,” said Davidson who, just hours earlier, commemorated the anniversary at the fort’s Community Club with a heartfelt ceremony that included both a moment of silence and the playing of Retreat. “This is a day that tested our city and our nation’s resolve, but we showed the world our true strength: our American spirit.”
Students and their teachers also took time out from their classes to mark the anniversary with local schools like William McKinley Junior High School gathering in front of the school’s September 11 memorial mural.