Brooklyn remembers 9/11

The anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be marked in Brooklyn through a series of memorials and commemorations.

As he does each year, State Senator Marty Golden will host a pair of events on September 11, one in Marine Park at Fillmore Avenue and Marine Parkway at 6 p.m. and the other on the American Veterans Memorial Pier at Shore Road and Bay Ridge Avenue at 7:30 p.m.

These memorial ceremonies will feature a program of inspirational speeches and a patriotic song selection, as well as a candle-lighting vigil and a 21-gun salute.

“As we begin to think of how our world was changed almost 13 years ago on the morning of September 11, 2001, we must continue as a community to remember those we lost that day,” noted Golden, adding, “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.”

The U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton will commemorate 9/11 on September 11at 3 p.m. at the fort’s Community Club. Fort spokesperson Bruce Hill explained that the ceremony is, “to remember those who perished in the terrorists attacks on September 11.” Furthermore, “The ceremony will include a moment of silence and the playing of Retreat.”

The Brooklyn Bedford Park 9/11 Memorial will be held at Bedford Avenue and Avenue X on September 11 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in front of a hand-painted mural, created just days after 9/11 by Ray Fiore. Committee member Tina Gray says, “We play music, have a candle vigil, do readings and have special guests.”

Every year, there is a theme. This year the theme is honoring the canine units, along with first responders. Special guests will receive a 9/11 bracelet. Gray explained, “The most important thing we do every year is remember all of those who were killed and let our first responders know that we appreciate them.”

In addition, St. Anselm Church, Fourth Avenue and 82nd Street, will have two masses on September 11 at 8 and 11 a.m. for, “victims and families of 9/11,” says parish employee Suzanne Whiteaker.

Sunset Park’s St. Michael’s Church, on Fourth Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets, will be holding a special mass at 9 a.m. for police and firefighters, followed by a remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m..

Bargemusic will also mark the day in Brooklyn Bridge Park, at the foot of Old Fulton Street, with a 9/11 Memorial Concert at 8 p.m. on September 11.

By and large, the 9/11 events are the culmination of a week of remembrance. On the evening of Wednesday, September 10, at the Wall of Remembrance in Coney Island, “The Night Before” was marked with a candle-lighting service.

“It’s about making it comfortable for the families,” founder Sol Moglen explained, “because it’s hard for them on the actual day of September 11. We honor everyone that night; including all of the firefighters, police officers, first responders and the canine units. It’s a celebration, not mourning, and Coney Island is a beautiful place for it.”

In addition St. Ephrem Church, which lost nine parishioners, hosted a mass of remembrance on Saturday, September 6. St. Ephrem’s church parish member Mary Jane LaVache, whose mother died in the attack, said, “I think it’s very important to remember as a tribute to those lost and in respect for them. To know they are not forgotten is so important for the families, especially in our parish and as a statement of our faith.”

The memorial is held before September 11, LaVache added, so it “doesn’t cause a conflict if the families are invited to attend events on the 10th and 11th both in New York and New Jersey.”

Remember that terrible day, noted Councilmember Vincent Gentile, is a way of keeping alive not only the memories of those who died, but the remembrance of how the city and country came together after the attacks.

“When we teach children about what happened on September 11, 2001, we must tell children about the hours, days and weeks following the attacks when New York City and the nation came together and showed their true colors as Americans – helping and consoling one another and giving of themselves selflessly,” he stressed. “No matter how many years pass, the sense of loss and sadness will never go away but our reflection helps heal. Thirteen years after those horrific attacks, I know we are a stronger city.”

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