Tag Archives: September 11

Army pays tribute at Fort Totten to those lost


| Phertling@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo Phil Hertling

They gathered to pay tribute to those who stood — and fell — defending our freedom.

Soldiers of the United States Army Reserve gathered at Fort Totten’s annual September 11 memorial on Saturday morning, September 8, to remember six first responders lost in the terror attacks.

“Those of us who wear the uniform, for generations, have always tried to honor and remember our heroes,” said Major General Richard Colt, who was the commanding general of the 77th in 2001. “And even though the six soldiers who we honor today were not wearing the Army uniform, when they died, they epitomized the values that the Fire Department of New York puts into their men and women.”

The six men that gave their lives — Captain Michael Mullan, Captain Mark Whitford, Warrant Officer Ronald Bucca, Sergeant Shawn Powell, Staff Sergeant Frederick Ill and Lieutenant Colonel William Pohlmann — were part of the 77th Regional Support Command, renamed the 77th Regional Readiness Command in 2003, according to Master Sergeant Minnie Hawkins, who led the service before a few hundred Army personnel. Five were New York City firefighters and the other, a volunteer firefighter in Ardsley, New York.

“Even though their loved ones are gone, we are here to support them. They’re gone but not forgotten,” said Sergeant First Class Eric Thompson. Mullan, of New York City Ladder 12, and Whitford, of Manhattan’s Engine Company 23, died while operating rescue missions at the Towers. Bucca was assigned as fire marshal to Manhattan Command. He was the first fire marshal killed in the line of duty with the Fire Department of New York, authorities said.

Powell was a firefighter for Engine Company 207. Frederick was a fire captain with Ladder 2 in Manhattan. He gained fame in 1999 for saving a man from an oncoming subway train. Pohlmann worked as an attorney and had an office in the World Trade Center. He was also the engine company president of the Ardsley Volunteer Fire Department.

“They stopped what they did, ran into a building and tried to help others,” Sergeant First Class Kevin Wilson said. “It just shows how we are as people. We come together as Americans.”

 

OpEd: 9/11 forever changed history


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY JOHN FEAL

In slightly more than an hour 11 years ago nearly 3,000 lives were tragically cut far too short. More than 3,000 families were instantly redirected, mourning the loss of their loved ones while wondering how they would navigate their futures without them.

The reach of September 11 went well past the East and Hudson Rivers. The same terribly historic hour also propelled our nation’s armed forces into battle in two separate countries, causing the loss of thousands more of this country’s youth and future leaders.

During that same hour, thousands of firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, correction officers and emergency personnel converged onto the World Trade Center site in order to save their fellow Americans, hoping their skills and training could save the life of even one person.

Soon after the Twin Towers collapsed, first responders realized that they would not save their peers, but that their skills would be needed in an entirely different mission: recovery. They would be joined in this mission during the hours, days, weeks and months following the attacks by tens of thousands of their brothers and sisters in the construction trades, communication industry and volunteers. The goal was not limited to the recovery of the personal effects of those lost, but the recovery of this country from one of its darkest moments. Over the next year the combined efforts of first responders enabled families to find closure in the burials of their loved ones by those who removed the debris from the World Trade Center site and provided these services with an unmatched dignity, professionalism and heroism.

Eleven years after the attack, thousands of first responders now suffer from physical impairments as a result of their work “on the pile” and the surrounding impact zone. Despite being assured by leaders in our nation’s capital that the air at the World Trade Center site was safe to breathe, we now know that this was wholly inaccurate. We now understand that the air at Ground Zero was actually filled with a toxic mixture, and that it could take years to reveal the deadly effects. Additionally, thousands of responders continue to suffer from the psychological impact of what they personally witnessed during their efforts on behalf of this nation. Unprepared for the gruesome war-like discoveries potentially lurking under any pile of debris, responders continue to visualize these horrific scenes daily. An hour 11 years ago is relived nearly 24 hours a day by many.

Today, the FealGood Foundation (FGF) aims to assist these first responders in any way we can, from financial assistance to placing them in the hands of competent legal counsel, from psychological support to assistance enrolling in medical treatment facilities. We have assisted in getting the Zadroga Bill passed so that responders have proper medical care and compensation for the injuries they have sustained.

But our work isn’t over. Virtually every day a new responder reaches out to the FGF for assistance of some kind. We have, in fact, gotten busier over the past two years. As long as any first responder needs assistance, the FGF will be there to help. The unfortunate reality is that the FGF was created out of that same fateful hour; we wish its existence had never been necessary but are proud to provide the services.

Little more than one hour is all it took to forever change the course of the lives of thousands and thousands of people. On this 11th anniversary we honor those lost and all those still profoundly affected.

John Feal is the founder of the FealGood Foundation.

9/11 anniversary events around Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

New York Hospital Queens
There will be a 9/11 remembrance service with moments of silence and a salute at New York Hospital Queens Emergency Services Memorial Site located at Booth Memorial Avenue near the Emergency Room entrance from 8:40 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. on September 11.

Remsen Memorial Park
There will be a candlelight ceremony at Remson Memorial park at Alderton Street at 6:30 p.m. on September 11. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at American Legion Hall, 107-15 Metropolitan Avenue.

Bayside Hills
The Bayside Hills Civic Association will be holding a 9/11 observance on Horace Harding Expressway and Bell Boulevard at 7:00 p.m. on September 11.

Juniper Valley Park
There will be a candlelight vigil at Juniper Valley Park, between 77th and 78th streets, at 7:30 p.m. on September 11. Bring a candle and chair.

Astoria Heights
The United Community Civic Association together with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is having a 9/11 memorial candlelight vigil at McManus Memorial Park at 81st Street and Grand Central Parkway at 7:30 p.m. on September 12.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

 TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 75. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 61. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: 9/11 anniversary events in Queens

To commemorate the eleventh anniversary of September 11, there are several remembrance events around the borough Tuesday evening.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYPD seek suspect in attack on woman in Queens

The NYPD is seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect in connection with an attempted sexual attack in Queens. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Trial begins for man suspected of stealing two police guns from precinct

Two officers who had their guns stolen from the 103rd precinct in Queens last year took the stand in State Supreme Court on Monday to tell the court what happened, but could not say how. Read more: NY1

Ethnic politics in the mix in crowded Assembly primary in Flushing

The scramble to replace Assemblywoman Grace Meng has produced a crowded primary, charged with ethnic politics and intrigue. Read more: New York Daily News

School bus nightmare for Queens child

The new school year has meant four mornings of frustration for Shanie Fryer and her 3 year old daughter Annaya. The child’s bus has either shown-up hours late or not at all. Read more: ABC New York

Cuomo, Bloomberg, Christie reach a deal to end the impasse that has stalled construction of the 9-11 museum

The dispute that has all but halted construction on the 9-11 museum was resolved on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the terror attacks. Read more: New York Daily News

New York is lagging as seas and risks rise, critics warn

With a 520-mile-long coast lined largely by teeming roads and fragile infrastructure, New York City is gingerly facing up to the intertwined threats posed by rising seas and ever-more-severe storm flooding. Read more: New York Times

For Sept. 11 anniversary, a turning point passed?

Is it time for a different kind of Sept. 11? Victims’ families and others were poised to gather and grieve Tuesday at ground zero, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., for the first time after the emotional turning point of last year’s 10th anniversary. Read more: AP

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 84. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 73. Winds from the South at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: First Fridays, Summer in the Garden

The Noguchi Museum continues its summer practice of extending hours and offering free admission on the first Friday of the month. Visitors can explore the galleries and enjoy a cash bar in the outdoor sculpture garden. This Friday will feature Center of Attention, an extended conversation around a single work in the collection at 6 pm, followed at 7 pm by the film “My Playground,” a documentary about movement, tricking, freerunning, and parkour –a sport in which participants go from one city to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Some Queens residents call on city to spray for West Nile Virus

Residents of eastern Queens are calling on the city to take a more active role in combating West Nile Virus in their neighborhoods. Read more: CBS New York

Queens gas station attendant beats drunk man to death for vandalizing cash machine

There was another killing at a New York City gas station on Thursday, but this time the victim was a drunk who made the mistake of tangling with an attendant who boxes and idolizes Rocky Balboa. Read more: New York Daily News

Vacant lot in Queens used as a trash heap

A massive mound of garbage that looks like it belongs in a landfill fills a residential lot in Jamaica, Queens. “It’s just a dumping ground. The rats have increased, the rodents,” says neighbor Crystal Bonds. Read more: NY1

Undrafted Queens product Machado signs with Rockets

Scott Machado, the former Iona College point guard who went undrafted despite leading the nation in assists, agreed to a partially guaranteed, three-year contract for the league minimum with the Houston Rockets Wednesday night, he told The Post. Read more: New York Post

FDNY adds nine Names to 9/11 Memorial Wall

The Fire Department added nine names Thursday to the memorial wall for deaths related to World Trade Center illnesses. Read more: NY1

Obama makes case for 2nd Term: ‘Harder’ path to ‘better place’

President Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for a second term on Thursday night, making a forceful argument that he had rescued the economy from disaster and ushered in a recovery that would be imperiled by a return to Republican stewardship. Read more: New York Times

Market milestone: Stocks return to late 2007 level

he last time the stock market was this high, the Great Recession had just started, and stocks were pointed toward a headlong descent. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then thunderstorms in the afternoon. High of 81. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 75. Winds from the West at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Alobar’s Tomato Festival

All this week, Long Island City restaurant Alobar is honoring the harvest season with a rotating menu of tomato dishes supporting local farms at $30 per person for two courses and a cocktail or glass of wine. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Seven Queens schools slated for closure re-open this week

After months of uncertainty, many teachers at seven Queens high schools previously slated for closure are going back to work. Read more: New York Daily News 

Internet currency exchange biz owner gets jail for tax conviction

The owner of an Internet currency exchange business is going to prison on a tax conviction. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the two-year sentence today for Ilya Boruch of Forest Hills, Queens. Read more: New York Post

 School in Queens to serve “brunch”

he thought of having lunch, or as the principal of IS25 calls it “brunch,” at 9:45 in the morning is not going over well. Come Thursday, many students at the middle school in Auburndale, Queens will feast on roast chicken, rice and pinto beans, just two hours after their day. Read more: ABC New York

Juniper Valley Park plagued by trash, vandalism and under-aged drinking, civic leaders say

Underage boozing, vandalism and mounds of trash have plagued Juniper Valley Park all summer due to lack of Parks Enforcement Patrol officers, civic leaders say. Read more: New York Daily News

With City Council redistricting looming, activists unveil “Unity Map”

Activists are trying to protect the city’s minority groups as the City Council district lines are about to be redrawn. Minority advocate groups unveiled their so-called Unity Map Tuesday. Read more: NY1

Ed Koch being treated for anemia at New York Presbyterian

Former mayor Ed Koch was being treated at New York Presbyterian on the Upper West Side and will remain hospitalized for a few days after undergoing a blood transfusion, officials said Tuesday night. Read more: CBS New York

Airlines to face trial over 9/11

The AMR Corporation’s American Airlines and United Continental Holdings must face a federal trial over negligence claims tied to the hijacking of jetliners used in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Read more: New York Times

Mrs. Obama: Husband knows what struggle means

Democrats are using one of Barack Obama’s strong suits, that voters believe he understands the problems of ordinary people, to trump his weakest suit, the economy. Read more: AP

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.”