Tag Archives: 9/11

Residents Gather to Mark Tenth Anniversary of 9/11


| jlyons@queenscourier.com

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North Shore Towers residents were joined by local elected officials and members of law enforcement as they marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Board President Bob Ricken began by acknowledging Towers residents Tom Lyons and Todd Heiman. Lyons responded to Ground Zero following the attacks while Heiman worked at the Staten Island recovery site.

“All of the events of September 11 will forever live in our memories. We will never forget the images of planes flying into the World Trade Center, or the smoke rising from the Pentagon,” Ricken said. “We’ll always admire the courage and compassion of the heroes who also entered the burning building to save the lives of our countrymen.”

Ricken also said that the day of remembrance requires reflection, as it is determined how best to honor those who sacrificed their lives.

“The highest honor we can pay to those we lost is to do what our adversaries fear the most – to stay true to who we are as Americans, renew our sense of common purpose and not let the act of a small band of murderers threaten and divide us,” he said. “On this day and the days to come we should choose to honor the fallen, protect our families, our way of life, and support the first responders and servicemen throughout the world.”

Following Ricken’s opening remarks, Sergeant Polly Jill MacAlpine of the NY Army National Guard sang the National Anthem. Rabbi Randy Sheinberg then gave an invocation, during which she noted that people all over were “coming together as a community in tribute to those whose lives were lost tragically 10 years ago and waving flags of patriotism, of pride and of hope in the future.”

Located elected officials Senator Tony Avella, Assemblymember Ed Braunstein and Councilmember Mark Weprin were also on hand for the ceremony and gave remarks, talking about the importance of never forgetting and the way New Yorkers came together following the terrorist attack.
“New Yorkers are tough spirits and we love this city and we love this country,” Weprin said. “We are going to make a statement that you’re not going to scare us out and we’re going to stay united together.”

North Shore Towers General Manager Glen Kotowski, who worked at Ground Zero off and on following the attacks, also read a letter from Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent for the event. In addition to welcoming the 250 to 300 people in attendance, Bloomberg’s letter spoke of the opening of the World Trade Center Memorial and said that lower Manhattan is “more alive than ever.”

“In the days and weeks after the event, we vowed that we would never forget and that we would work together to create a brighter future,” Bloomberg wrote, adding that New York continues to keep that promise.
The event concluded with MacAlpine singing “God Bless America” as residents joined in.

Honoring the fallen at St. Michael’s


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

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Equally as striking as the monument listing the names of the 343 firefighters that sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001 are the bricks at its base with the names of the first responders from all emergency services that died as a result of working on “the pile.” As of now, the number of first responder deaths remains at 95, but there are plenty of bricks that will undoubtedly add to that number.

The memorial service and dedication at St. Michael’s Cemetery honoring fallen firefighters, police and Port Authority officers brought together elected leaders, FDNY and NYPD officials, as well as families of those lost for an afternoon of grieving and a celebration of their lives. The event, on Saturday, September 24, began with an invocation by Father Christopher Keenan who read the Gettysburg Address followed by a statement by Congressmember Joe Crowley who commented on the two dozen young firefighters dressed in bunker gear who stood during the ceremony.

“They’re taking up a job that has a legacy,” said Crowley. “Many believed that the fire department could never recover after the attack, but nothing could be more false . . . They have never forgotten those that have fallen.”

Crowley also included an anecdote about his cousin John Moran, a Battalion Chief on Randall’s Island who died at the World Trade Center.

“I’m sure each and every one of you can take out a moment about a son or daughter that you lost that day and look back and smile,” said Crowley.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, one of the sponsors of the Zadroga Act – named for police officer James Zadroga who died of a respiratory disease attributed to toxins at Ground Zero – spoke to the long road the legislation took until enacted in January 2011. The act expands death benefits and monitored care for those who worked at the World Trade Center site.

“Who would have thought it would have taken us seven years to pass the Zadroga Act?” asked Maloney. “This bill will save lives. We will not stop until we make sure that it continues to take care of the men and women who took care of us.”

She continued to mention the beauty of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site and urged those in attendance to take a trip downtown to see it.

Also in attendance was Comptroller John Liu who helped fund the St. Michael’s 9/11 memorial, Former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., FDNY Chief Kevin Butler, PAPD Inspector Brian Sullivan, NYPD Chief Dianna Pizzutti as well as the PAPD Pipes and Drums, among other special guests.

Former FDNY Chief Alexander Santora and his wife, Maureen who – along with Ed Horn of St. Michaels – were instrumental in erecting the memorial, spoke about the importance of remembering those, like their son, Christopher, who died on 9/11. After encouraging those in attendance to come back to see the additions to the bricks at the base of the memorial, the former chief summed up the feeling of many on hand:

“They have one hell of a fire department up in heaven.”

Precint Council addresses events, wanted man


| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

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Chrissy Voskerichian, president of the 109th Precinct Community Council, and the members of the board recently welcomed back community members to their September meeting to discuss future events and crime statistics around Flushing.

Upcoming events include a Halloween festival at Bowne Park, a Thanksgiving meal with the officers and a holiday get-together at the Marco Hotel.

Other future events include a defensive driving class, a CPR certification class through the Red Cross and a trip to the 9/11 Memorial, all dates to be determined.

Assemblymember Grace Meng and Councilmembers Peter Koo and Dan Halloran also spoke about the importance of being vigilant in the community.

Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire reported that there were no murders in the 109th Precinct within the prior month, two rape cases and 18 robberies. Maguire went further to highlight a wanted black male — 6’4” tall, in his 20s, with tattoos around his hand and neck — known for stealing iPhones. The man allegedly stops people with a story about a lost sister in order to pilfer the phone

School’s moving tribute to 9/11


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

File photo

Although the fourth and fifth graders of P.S. 16 have no memory of the attacks on September 11, 2001, members of the grades united to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice a decade ago.

The students hosted a memorial performance on September 19 in honor of everyone who risked and lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

The children gave speeches, read quotes, recited poems and sang seven songs during the show. The subject of each song was related to either the attacks on 9/11 or the United States of America.

“Each of the seven songs had a meaningful relationship to the events of September 11,” said Irene Laakkonen, the music teacher at P.S. 16, located at 41-15 104th Street in Corona. “One song honored the victims and their families, while another was dedicated to first responders. The children also sang songs discussing the country’s healing process, as well as a few that were patriotic and expressed love for America.”

Several officers of the NYPD and FDNY attended the performance as distinguished guests of the school.

“I wanted the children to learn to honor those who gave their lives for our country and to respect the values and beliefs we hold dear,” said Laakkonen. “I think they also need to learn to appreciate those men and women who put their lives on the line every day to secure our safety. These are the heroes they should be inspired by.”

At the tribute’s conclusion, the audience rose to their feet and aided the children in singing “America the Beautiful.”

Honoring the fallen at St. Michael’s


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

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Equally as striking as the monument listing the names of the 343 firefighters that sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001 are the bricks at its base with the names of the first responders from all emergency services that died as a result of working on “the pile.” As of now, the number of first responder deaths remains at 95, but there are plenty of bricks that will undoubtedly add to that number. The memorial service and dedication at St. Michael’s Cemetery honoring fallen firefighters, police and Port Authority officers brought together elected leaders, FDNY and NYPD officials, as well as families of those lost for an afternoon of grieving and a celebration of their lives. The event, on Saturday, September 24, began with an invocation by Father Christopher Keenan who read the Gettysburg Address followed by a statement by Congressmember Joe Crowley who commented on the two dozen young firefighters dressed in bunker gear who stood during the ceremony. “They’re taking up a job that has a legacy,” said Crowley. “Many believed that the fire department could never recover after the attack, but nothing could be more false . . . They have never forgotten those that have fallen.” Crowley also included an anecdote about his cousin John Moran, a Battalion Chief on Randall’s Island who died at the World Trade Center. “I’m sure each and every one of you can take out a moment about a son or daughter that you lost that day and look back and smile,” said Crowley. Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, one of the sponsors of the Zadroga Act – named for police officer James Zadroga who died of a respiratory disease attributed to toxins at Ground Zero – spoke to the long road the legislation took until enacted in January 2011. The act expands death benefits and monitored care for those who worked at the World Trade Center site. “Who would have thought it would have taken us seven years to pass the Zadroga Act?” asked Maloney. “This bill will save lives. We will not stop until we make sure that it continues to take care of the men and women who took care of us.” She continued to mention the beauty of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site and urged those in attendance to take a trip downtown to see it. Also in attendance was Comptroller John Liu who helped fund the St. Michael’s 9/11 memorial, Former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., FDNY Chief Kevin Butler, PAPD Inspector Brian Sullivan, NYPD Chief Dianna Pizzutti as well as the PAPD Pipes and Drums, among other special guests. Former FDNY Chief Alexander Santora and his wife, Maureen who – along with Ed Horn of St. Michaels – were instrumental in erecting the memorial, spoke about the importance of remembering those, like their son, Christopher, who died on 9/11. After encouraging those in attendance to come back to see the additions to the bricks at the base of the memorial, the former chief summed up the feeling of many on hand: “They have one hell of a fire department up in heaven.”

Cop, inspired by 9/11, dies in crash on 9/11


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Officer Kevin Jessup

Services for Officer Kevin Jessup, 25, tragically killed on 9/11, allegedly by a drunk driver, have been announced.

Jessup, who was inspired to join the Force after the 9/11 terror attacks and had been with the 106th Precinct for about a year, was reportedly driving on the Southern State Parkway on Long Island with his girlfriend — having just celebrated her September 11 birthday — when his Nissan Maxima was rear-ended by Jonathan Lopez.

Lopez then reportedly went on to hit another car, while Jessup’s Maxima crashed into a guardrail and flipped, landing in the woods near the roadway.

A family member reportedly said that the girlfriend, identified as Crystal Simons — who sustained non-life threatening injuries — flagged down help.

Jessup was rushed to Nassau University Medical Center and was being prepped for surgery when he died.

The driver of the other car suffered minor injuries.

Lopez reportedly pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and assault.

A wake for Jessup will be held on Thursday, September 15 at Grace Funeral Chapel, 607 North Conduit Boulevard, Brooklyn, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m.

Funeral services will be Friday, September 16 at 9:30 a.m.