Bagpipe And Breeze, The Borough Begins Its Tribute To Those Fallen
Memories of Sept. 11 begin, for most Americans, with images of terror – the burning towers fading into ash.
Sept. 11, 2002 started
in Queens at 1 a.m. at the very edge of the county’s border,
with the pounding of drummers and the wail of the bagpipers
resounding through the darkness of the borough in a 19-mile procession to
Members of the Port
Authority Police Department’s Pipe and Drum Band stepped-off at Northern
Boulevard and Glenwood Street in Little Neck, and gathered civilian marchers
as they journeyed through the borough. Approximately 50 civilian marchers
from the borough joined the procession at its start and hopped on and off as
it made its way along the length of Northern Boulevard.
During the first few
blocks of the procession, several families with candles and flags cheered
the marchers on.
At the end of the
19-mile, seven hour journey, which went over the Queensborough Bridge and to
the east side of Manhattan, the Queens marchers met processions from the
other boroughs, which started between 1 and 3 a.m.
The citywide delegation then marched in unison down a ramp into the
seven-story pit that now marks the spot where the Twin Towers of the World
Trade Center once stood.
The wind was the only
sound at 9:59, when a moment of silence marked the fall of the South Tower.
The silence was broken by the morning’s first tolling of bells, and
a poem read by a young girl who lost her father on Sept. 11.
At 10:29, more bells
tolled, as a ship’s horn blew in from the Hudson and another moment of
silence marked the fall of the North Tower, the wind gusts fell to a
When the reading of
victims’ names began by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy
Giuliani at 8:50 a.m., the wind gusted again.
A brief sunshower started at 11:18, just as the last victims’ names were read and New Jersey Governor James McGreevey read from the Declaration of Independence, ending the memorial.
New Dawn: The Morning Of Sept. 11
As the sun rose over
Northeast Queens on the morning of Sept. 11, 2002, residents tried to follow
their usual routines and prepare for work or school, without letting the
one-year anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks affect them too much.
At the QM1 bus stop on
Union Turnpike and 260th Street in Glen Oaks, a line of men and women in
business suits waited for the bus, with stock broker Maria Thomas told the
Tribune, “I’m trying to let this be a normal day. It’s going to be
hard, but I’m trying . . . I didn’t watch the news this morning like a
usually do. If I did, I wouldn’t be here right now. I’d be home
Banker Ashrit Persaud
agreed with Thomas, and said, “I didn’t want to leave my house this
morning. We have to, of course, or else the terrorists win. But I didn’t
want to leave my wife and kids. For the first time in a while, I’m afraid
to go to work. All these memories are back.”
At a Mobil Station on
Little Neck Parkway and Union Turnpike in Bellerose, cab driver and
Douglaston resident Boba Sadhi pumped gas into his yellow taxi, and said he
was dreading his day of work. Sadhi was on the Queensborough Bridge when the
Towers fell, and said, “I’ll never forget that. I kept those thoughts
inside all year, and now they’re back. When I drive through Manhattan, I
know that it’s going to be eerie and upsetting.” He then pointed to an
American flag at half-staff in the Stein-Goldie Memorial Triangle across the
street. He said, “That’s even a reminder of the pain. It’s going to be
a tough day.”
At the Bayside Kiwanis
Memorial on the Long Island Railroad overpass on Bell Boulevard, commuters
stared at the flowers and hand-written messages, and Auburndale resident
Jessica Thorton told the Tribune, “This is why we have to go to work
today. For these people. We can’t let terrorists scare us into staying
Joel Lipschitz, a
Bayside resident, added, “Look how far we’ve come since last September.
When I look at this memorial, I don’t cry anymore. I feel strong and
proud. These people are watching over us. It’s going to be hard to focus,
but I’m going to work.”
At around 8:46 a.m.,
when the bells tolled at All Saints Church in Bayside and Queens College in
Flushing, a packed memorial service was being held at Our Lady of the Snows
Church in Floral Park, while the flag at North Shore Towers in Floral Park
was being pulled to half staff and the City was engaging in a moment of
silence. Students at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside arrived, and
many were wearing red, white and blue.
Eddie Riccardo, a
sophomore and Bayside resident with an American flag in his hat, said, “We
have to honor this country today. It’s so important. My dad’s a police
officer, and thank God he wasn’t there, but he could have been. We have to
appreciate those who were lost.” His friend Andrea Aris added, “People
think we’re too young to understand, but we do. This country deserves our
At PS 31 in Bayside,
young children arrived with flags and America tee-shirts, and one parent
said, “If there was anything positive that came out of Sept. 11, it was
that we found America. My kids love America. They have become so patriotic.
I think we were losing that.” He added, “I guess the terrorists failed.
They wanted to pull us apart. Well, my kids wouldn’t be bringing flags to
school if not for Sept. 11.”
The following is a]
Sept. 11 tribute in honor of our son Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca, the first
marshal to die in the line of duty in the fire department.
In 1978 he joined the Fire Department where he served with Engine 95, Ladder 2, the Fitness Unit on Randalls Island and Rescue 1.
In 1986 while fighting a
fire he fell five stories. He broke his back and kneecaps and was in a body
brace for six months. Just a week later he returned to his fire unit, Rescue
1. Later he became a fire marshal, was with the department for 23 years, the
last nine as a fire marshal.
In 1973 he joined the
Army active duty for two years with the 101st Airborne and chosen “Soldier
of the Month” in 1974. When he was discharged he joined the Army Reserve,
that he was still in for 29 years. He served in the Special Forces, Green
Berets and the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 2001 he was promoted to
Warrant Officer, U.S.A.R.
He led a very active
life and since his fall in 1986 he didn’t waste a minute, accomplished
many things he wanted to do.
He was a fireman,
soldier, Lic. Practical Nurse, adventurer and could talk about almost any
subject. Historian of the Civil War, did archaeology work in Spain,
collector of model trains, metal toy soldiers, scuba certified, physically
He was a fun loving,
compassionate person who would do anything for you if possible, always there
to help a relative, friend or even a stranger.
I cannot find the words
to express how we felt and got through this year. Seems like a dream or
nightmare. I can still see him coming up the path to visit us. I say “Good
night” to him and “Good morning Ron” to his picture every day.
He left his lovely wife
Even, children Jessica and Sonnie, he was their Dad, best friend and always
there for them. Happy memories they have with their Dad. I don’t know how
our daughter-in-law did it, but she was a tower of strength for us all even
with a broken heart and we love her.
Ronald had two brothers,
Robert and Alfred, his wife Celeste, son Joey and his family. A cousin
“Firefighter” Frank Fiore who was like Ron’s third brother. They hurt
As for my husband Joe, I
see the pain in his face, he suffers every day. We’re just not the same
people these days. A big part in our lives is gone. Ron had so much going
for him and planning for his retirement.
always be with us. Till we meet again Ron. God bless. Love ya! Mom, Dad
& family. Greatly missed by everyone. Families of Samuelson, Fiore,
We would like to take
this opportunity to say our sincerest “thank you” to all the uniform,
construction and civilian workers for all they did at “Ground Zero” all
those months, also on Staten Island.
Our son Fire Marshal
Ronald Bucca was on the 78th floor of Tower 2 along with Batt. Chief Palmer
when it collapsed. They found Ronald’s remains on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2001
and he was buried on Saturday, Nov. 10. He was found in a stairwell with
some other people.
We are thankful they found him and that we have a place to visit and talk to him as I know he’s watching us and waiting for us up in heaven. God bless all those who perished and their families.
Astrid Bucca & family,
Year Later: Sun Shines On Bayside Firefighter's Family
The sun broke through a
long patch of rainy days to beam on 53 members of Bayside Firefighter
Michael Mullan’s family this August when they visited relatives in Ireland
on a “memorial trip” to talk about their hero, who lost his life saving
others at Ground Zero on Sept. 11.
Bayside resident and mother of 34-year-old Michael Mullan, told the Tribune
that relatives from across the United States went on the trip to meet with
family members living overseas, and to comfort each other about their loss
as the one-year anniversary of the attacks approached. Theresa said the trip
was the first time that all members of the Mullan family were in the same
place at the same time, and the first time that many family members were
meeting each other.
She explained, “If he was alive, Michael would have orchestrated this trip
. . . . When we first
got there our relatives told us that they hadn’t had a sunny day since
April. Wouldn’t you know it, the whole time we were there, it was sunny
and beautiful. That was Michael’s blessing to us. He made sure that we had
While in Ireland,
members of the local police and fire departments honored Mullan, and Theresa
said, “They felt the tragedy very, very deeply over in Ireland. To many
Irish, America is like a second home.”
Theresa said that while
in Ireland, she and her husband Patrick met a couple who had lost a daughter
in the tragedy. “I wanted to be there for them.
You know, in Ireland, they don’t have the support system that we
have here. When they met me and Patrick, they just cried and cried. We cried
and we listened. I’m so glad that we could help,” she said.
The Irish couple is just
one family that Theresa is sending mass cards to this week in honor of the
anniversary of the fall of the World Trade Center. She said that she and her
husband Patrick are going to spend Sept. 11, 2002 at Ground Zero, and,
“It’s going to be a day of remembrance for us . . . It’s very, very
hard and very overwhelming. You know, when it first happened, we were scared
and shocked. There was such support, and so many people looking to comfort
us. We kept ourselves busy at memorials and other things. There were other
emotions involved. Now, it’s just sadness, and it’s sinking in.”
Theresa said through
tears that her family would “definitely get through this,” and said,
“So many terrible memories are coming back. But we will all get through
this and be stronger.”
Mullan, a musician and
raging Yankees fan, worked for Engine Company 3, Ladder Company 12 in
Manhattan, and was working a 24-hour shift on Sept. 11 because he was
covering for a friend. “He was doing someone a favor,” Theresa said. He
called his parents on his way to the Twin Towers on the morning of Sept. 11
to explain what was going on, to tell his family that he loved them, and to
say “goodbye.” Theresa said, “He never said goodbye. It was too formal
for him. But that morning, he did.”
Mullan was a member of
the Army Reserves at Fort Totten, worked at Mercy Hospital in Rockville
Center, Long Island and St. John’s Hospital on Queens Boulevard, and was
studying at Hunter College to become a nurse practitioner. He graduated from
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross High School and already
received a nursing degree from Queensborough Community College. He joined
the Fire Department in 1994.
The City Council is expected to approve renaming the piece of Jordan Street where Mullan grew up Michael Mullan Way this week, and Theresa said, “He would have loved that. He truly loved his neighborhood. He was a Bayside kid at heart.”
Float Carries A Giant Heart
A Hamilton Beach woman
and her family will pay their tribute to the hundreds of New York
Firefighters killed at the World Trade Center with a very special entry in
the annual Hamilton Beach Baby Parade.
Last year, when Barbara
York built a float for the parade, her brother-in-law Raymond was so
impressed that “he offered to help me out [the] next year,” Mrs. York
Raymond R. York was a Firefighter with Engine 285 in Ozone Park. He died in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, just days after the 2001 Baby Parade. He never had a chance to help his sister-in-law build her float.
This year, Barbara York
and her husband, Richard, decided to commemorate last year’s tragic events
by dedicating their float to the NYFD – in a special way.
Their six-foot long cardboard float is a miniature fire engine,
complete with bright red paint and mock ladders.
The outside of the float is covered with pictures of all of the New
York Firefighters who died last year, and the side reads “In Memory of 343
Firefighters Who Gave Their Lives on 9-11.”
“I honestly felt that
[Raymond] was with me, building it with me,” York said.
over Labor Day weekend forced the parade – usually held on Labor Day —
to be postponed until Sept. 14.
Tribute To Raymond York
Me and my four brothers and sisters grew up in Howard Beach in an apartment in what the locals call “town” which is near the H.B. train station. Our parents brought us up to be good people who care about one another and are always patriotic Americans.
Growing up my oldest
brother would always treat me special. I remember him having fun while
teaching me to tie my shoes. I will never forget how my father wasn’t able
to always be around so Ray said to me, “Richie, dad’s not here but I’m
like your father.” Ray loved to teach me to catch or throw a baseball or
football. He was creative and loved to dress me in Halloween costumes he
would create. He loved to paint also. He also loved rock ‘n roll and would
sing the Beatles or Rolling Stones songs and I remember him teaching me the
words to “Your Song” by Elton John when it first came out. He taught me
what types and how to enjoy the music I would love all my life...
Ray started working
young at “New Park Pizza” then “The Bow Wow,” then became a plumber
and then to Housing Authority Maintenance and in 1981 he became a N.Y.C.
fireman. He loved Engine 21 in Manhattan but when he won custody of his
daughter in 1992 he transferred to Engine 285 in Ozone Park so he could walk
her to school and then walk to the firehouse on time.
He was known as Mr. Mom
to the firemen. A fellow fireman introduced Ray to his sister Joan and he
told me about how beautiful and smart she was. He looked at me as he said
she has three kids. Michael, the youngest, was just a baby then. Ray was in
love and told Joan, “it will all work out.” Ray became the father they
Ray fell from a ladder
on Engine 285 and his arm was operated on but it was a permanent disability
so he was put on light duty at a place call the “Fire Zone” in
Rockefeller Center where a group of actors and one fireman teach fire safety
to families. It was undoubtedly the perfect job for Fireman Ray. The actors
there tell me other firemen do the job as they were supposed to, but when
Ray was on they had to compete for time because he loved to teach and keep
the children’s attention in a way only Ray could master.
Since 9-11 I’ve become
more spiritual, partly because of the last day I spent with my brother Ray
which I believe was a gift from God. I met him at his house early and we
went to the Yankee game, which Pettite lost 9-1, but it was a beautiful day
so we were about the last people to leave the stadium that afternoon. He
then brought me to a restaurant he liked on the water and then to the bar by
his house. We talked about everything and everyone important to us while
enjoying great music on the jukebox. Being he was on light duty with 3/4 pay
and he had 20 years in he applied to retire for October 1. We had been in
business for five years together years ago, so I was looking forward to what
business he would get me into when he retired. We laughed all day.
On Sept. 11, Ray was at
the Fire Zone and heard the second plane hit the W.T.C. so he ran to the
nearest firehouse and they were out on a call so he went back to the Zone
and grabbed the equipment they had there and said, “see ya.” The
security guard there told him, “Ray, they want off-duty or retired guys,
you have a job here.” But he wouldn’t stop so he said, “God bless
you,” as he hitchhiked on a T.V. satellite truck to 23rd Street traffic
and then ran to 14th Street. From
there he got on the back of an
ambulance downtown, and ran across Vessey Street to West Street. A fire
marshal friend of Ray’s hugged him there and said, “Ray the South Tower
has fallen and the North will
too, so the chief says to evacuate.” But the fire marshal says he
couldn’t believe his eyes. Ray was braver than brave. Everyone was running
away by then, but Ray headed toward the North Tower and as he left, he saw
the building falling.
At Engine 285 Ladder 142
the guys say that even though he was gone a year already and was set to
retire they feel the loss that a piece of the puzzle is gone permanently.
Our family has been
constantly staying in touch since Sept. 11. Mom, dad and all of us are
dealing with the loss differently but we are trying to take care of each
other. Sometimes anger and emotions come out. . .
I do know that Ray died
trying to save some of the greatest people on earth . . . ordinary
Americans. In the Elton John song Ray sang to me as a kid, there are lyrics
that now I sing for him . . . “I hope you don’t mind that I put it down
in words . . . how wonderful life is, while you’re in the world.”
Thank God I had a
brother, Ray. I love you brother, have a cold Bud ready for me when I get to
heaven. Thank you for being there for me.
God bless America.
P.S. Ray’s kids are
Kristen, 15, Kristina, 14, Robbie, 11, and Michael, 9.
'Tower Of Light'
When your fingers do the walking on the
SuperPages in Manhattan, it’s the image captured by a Queens
photographer that will capture the spirit of New York City since Sept. 11,
Astoria resident Peter Basich received a unique
honor when Verzion Information Systems announced that it would use
Basich’s photograph of the World Trade Center’s “Tower of Light”
tribute on the cover of the SuperPages Community Magazine inserted in its
2002-2003 Manhattan SuperPages directory.
Basich’s photo features the light display offset
by an illuminated Brooklyn Bridge, symbolizing New York’s loss and
resiliency in the wake of Sept. 11.
“It’s a very spiritual image,” Basich said.
“The light reminds me of all those lost souls whose lives were
sacrificed by these terrorists, and [yet] there is still connection to the
earth – those who are left behind will always remember them.”
Basich, a Department of Transportation (DOT) Bridges
office manager, said he took the once-in-a-lifetime shot when he went out to
the bridge with his boss one night in early April and stopped at a
restricted area. “He had the access to that location, which is closed
off…he sort of became my assistant that night,” he said.
Since Basich took the photo during the course of his
duties with the DOT, he won’t receive any money for its publication –
it’s officially City government property.
However, that doesn’t seem to bother Basich, who said he wouldn’t
accept any money offered for the picture.
“I’m just happy to share this with anyone who has an interest in
it…[it] reminds us of what we went through, the fact that we’re still
standing, and [that now] we’re moving forward.”
According to Basich and DOT officials, the picture
is also likely to be featured on the cover of Time Inc.’s 2003 World
After serving in the army in the early 1960s, Basich studied photography at the now-defunct Germain School of Photography. Soon after that, he began working in commercial studios around New York City. When slowing business and new technologies caused him to join the DOT 12 years ago, he thought he’d hung his camera up for good. However, ever since his photographic background was discovered, he’s served as an impromptu photographer for DOT engineers, brochures, and government awards ceremonies.
I am a fire officer from Kyiv, Ukraine,
temporarily housed in Fort Totten. I did not lose any of my closest ones on
Sept. 11, 2001, but I saw the tragedy by television. It was horrible.
Besides, I remember well what the Chornobyl
disaster (Ukraine, 1986) meant for firemen and other people . . . . to those
who don’t consider themselves a widow, but still the wife of a dead
fireman from the FDNY: You ask, “Why his death? Tell me why?”
And we say unconvincingly, “Well, that’s
life,” to console her a little.
And we look for some comforting word that
could help us at last to be heard ‘cause we feel that if we fail, it’ll
bring no solace to the fireman’s wife.
And then suddenly we understand that
“Life” is a word and we are answering, “Yes, that’s Life!
That is not his death, that’s his Life!”
By the river,
Time To Honor, A Time To Remember
By MARIA HERNANDEZ
Today I took the train
just like any other day not expecting to see what I was going to see.
Unbeknownst to me, this morning was different. As the train took its normal
route, the conductor announced that it was an A train going express to
Brooklyn and local to Manhattan.
As we got to Manhattan,
the conductor said, “We will not be stopping at Broadway/Nassau &
Chambers St.” Normally, the announcement would have been Chambers
St./World Trade Center, but there was no World Trade Center.
As we rode through
Broadway and Chambers Street, the train passed very slowly as if it was
mourning our fallen brothers and sisters, our American Family.
There was an eerie
feeling in the air – a newsstand bearing witness to the unforeseen tragedy
as it displayed its newspapers with their front covers full of sadness. The
stairs were covered with soot; it looked like a station in the desert.
Everyone engaged in a conversation stopped suddenly in silence. Some people
looked, others bowed their heads and yet others closed their eyes. It was as
if everybody on the train was in a silent prayer paying tribute to the
We were mourning them.
What got my attention was that there was a distinct odor. It wasn’t an
odor like previous times. It was different, indescribable. It was so silent
and so sad. I thought, “What do I tell my children?” How do we explain
to our little ones what has happened so that they can understand how
sometimes people can be so evil and hateful? I don’t think we will ever be
able to convey and explain it to our innocent children. How do we explain to
them that in a country where we can talk freely and live freely without
breaking the laws of the land, things like this can happen? Just how do we
We Americans will stand
together and stand tall. This terrible act will not bring us down. On the
contrary, it will make us stronger than ever. We will never forget our
fallen heroes or the people who lost their lives that terrible Tuesday,
Sept. 11. Our flag with its stars and stripes will shine brighter and fly
higher than ever.
God bless us all,
especially the families of the missing, the hurt and the perished.
I am proud to be an
A Smile After 9/11
Here is my story about my hero, my cousin,
On Sept. 11, 2001, many people lost their
lives while trying to save others . . .
As sad as I was and remain about the entire tragedy and the personal
fact that I lost a family relative – my cousin Mary’s husband, Battalion
Chief Thomas Farino of the New York City Fire Department – I have to say
that I find myself smiling up at the sky.
Because there is a new hero in my life that I
salute each day I wake up.
As a teacher at John Adams High School in
Ozone Park, I have told and continue to tell my students about Tom. He is
the person I admire, one of the incredibly brave individuals who made the
ultimate sacrifice that tragic day in order to help and save the lives of
others. On the one-year anniversary of the World Trade Center disaster, I
will proudly be teaching with a picture of Tom clipped on to my shirt. . . .
Tom grew up, in fact, in Ozone Park. The son
of a police officer, Tom’s destiny also put him in the city service, first
with the NYPD for two years, and then as a firefighter. At Engine Company
302 in Ozone Park, Tom was promoted to Lieutenant, and later was placed at
Engine Company 26, in Midtown Manhattan. At Engine 26, the ambitious and
dedicated firefighter was promoted to Captain. It was while working at this
engine company that Tom was called to respond to the attack at the World
Trade Center. It was here where Tom and 342 other firefighters/brothers
showed the utmost courage and unselfishness.
Tom was posthumously promoted to battalion
Tom’s wife Mary, and their two children,
Jane and Jimmy, are currently collaborating with others on the construction
of a playground at the John Pearl Elementary School located in the
family’s home community of Bohemia, Long Island. The colors chosen for the
playground - expected to be completed in October - are red, white, and blue.
The playground, which is being funded by the Thomas Farino Memorial Fund,
will give students the opportunity to learn physical skills, in addition to
providing a place for children to enjoy time with their families and
I’m sure Tom is smiling down on Mary, Jane,
and Jimmy. I know he’ll be smiling down on the playground...And I am
positive that I’ll keep smiling up into the sky, giving a thumbs up to
Battalion Chief Thomas Farino, a loving father and husband, and a true hero.
Thank you, Tom. I love you.
Memories: Our Daughter - Jennifer Wong
By Ben Wong
2001 came and went . . . but unlike other ordinary days, this day will be
remembered all around the world for many generations to come . . . .
As we reflect upon Jennifer’s life, we thank God for allowing us to have her for 26 years. It was 26 years of joy and happiness and many wonderful memories. We are so proud of the person she has become through the years. We are especially thankful for her love and commitment to God.
For all of
you who have encountered our Jennifer through the course of her life, we
want to thank you for your part in making her the special person she was
. . . May we always remember Jennifer and smile.
indeed very special and accomplished much in her short 26 years. After
graduating from Townsend Harris High School in 1993, she went on to
Binghamton University, SUNY and graduated in May 1997. She received her
Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in
Management Information Systems.
graduation, Jennifer’s first career opportunity was with The Bank of New
York where she worked as a Systems Liaison from 1997 to 1999. In 1999,
Jennifer went to work for Marsh & McLennan as a Business Analyst.
Scholarship was presented to three Townsend Harris High School seniors.
We believe the memorial scholarship will be a symbol of hope, joy,
and love in our remembrance of Jennifer.
From Jennifer’s Grandparents
incident brought with it sudden suffering . . . The entire world felt this
granddaughter Jennifer worked on the 96th floor of One World Trade Center
and lost her life in this tragedy.
As grandparents, we felt the painful loss of our vibrant granddaughter. We can only ask for God to comfort and uphold every single family who has lost loved ones in this tragedy.
The Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp held a day-long ceremony on Sept. 11, 2002 to mourn the loss of lives at the World Trade Center – including one of their own.
Allen Pearlman of Howard Beach, was the only member of the Forest Hills
Volunteer Ambulance Corp. (FHVAC) to die in the collapse of the World Trade
Center. FHVAC held a small
ceremony, attended by Assemblyman Michael Cohen and Councilwoman Melinda
Katz, and remained open for the “entire neighborhood” throughout the
day. FHVAC also held a candlelit tribute to Pearlman, where they presented
an award to his mother, Dori Pearlman.
On Sept. 11, 2001 Richie
was working delivering
paperwork to Police Headquarters when news of the attacks reached him and he
raced to help in the rescue effort.
picture appeared in Newsweek magazine. He was helping an injured woman with
other EMS workers. He went back into the towers and was never seen again.
At Camp Aquehonga, where
Richie was a staffer, he served in the trading post, services, assisted the
commissioners and as office manager. While in the office, Richie found his
calling, nicknamed “mother.” He was called that for the way he doted on
injured campers and staff men. Richie was a trained first aid technician,
but his specialty was psychological first aid. He could calm down the most
upset injured scout and scouter alike, sometimes with just a smile. He also
helped the camp medical staff. When the nurses weren’t around, Richie
helped me – the E.M.T. backup. He kept track of the camper’s medications
and made sure they took them, when scheduled. Richie enjoyed his summer and
being an Aquehonga staff man.
Richard Pearlman is
survived by his mother – Don, father – Barry, sister – Lisa and his
EMS & Scouting families.
(Glen Schneider contributed to this story.)
Company Works For
In honor of
the one-year anniversary of the fall of the World Trade Center, Borough
President Helen Marshall and Congressman Gary Ackerman joined the
pharmaceutical distribution company Kinray Incorporated this week for a
memorial and check presentation to the families of four local Sept. 11
people attended the memorial outside of the company’s Whitestone office on
Sept. 11 to watch the company present $25,000 checks to representatives for
the families of Police Officers Thomas Langone and Paul Talty, Firefighter
Vincent Morello and Fire Lieutenant Kenneth Phelan. Although none of the
heroes’ families were able to attend, fellow police and fire officers
accepted the donations.
company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Stewart Rahr has worked
since the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred to help the families of
police and fire officers, holding a memorial on Oct. 11, 2001 and sending
supplies to Ground Zero. The monetary donations to the families came from a
portion of the company’s revenues, donations from customers and donations
from all of the company’s 700 employees. Rahr said of the four officers,
“This is a memorial for these fine people and for all those lost in the
murderous attacks on our City and country. Their lives and the broken lives
of their families are in our hearts and memories . . . I’ve never been
more proud to be an American or more proud of America.”
said that the Kinray Company’s donation made her “proud to be the
Borough president of Queens,” and said, “I hope as a community and a
borough, we continue to comfort all those still in pain.” Ackerman
presented Kahr with a proclamation naming Sept. 11, 2002 Kinray Day and the
flag that flew over the Capitol on Sept. 10, 2002.
Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman, members of the cable show “The God
Squad,” also attended the ceremony, and spoke to the crowd.
Lieutenant John Urbielearicz, Phelan’s best friend, accepted the donation
for the Maspeth firefighter, whose first date with his wife was a Mets guy,
and who he described as a “Queens guy through and through.” Phelan was
raised in Queens, was the first person baptized at Our Lady of Hope, and
raised his four children – Kimberly, Erin, Kenny Jr. and Danny – in
Lieutenant Jim Halaby accepted the check for Morello’s family, who live in
Middle Village. Morello took a $40,000 pay cut to become a firefighter
instead of a fire mechanic, and dreamed of working in the firehouse his
father worked in. He reached that goal one year before Sept. 11.
Detectives Steven Stefanakos and Richard Winwood accepted the checks for the
families of Talty and Langone, both of whom lived in Long Island but worked
as members of Emergency Service Unit 10 in Flushing. Talty was also a
Flushing native. Stefanakos said that both officers were assigned to go into
Tower Two, but before they left, Langone said to Stefanankos, “Be safe
bro. I’ll see you in a little while.”
ceremony, Kinray released doves into the sky, and after the ceremony, Kinray
released 2,801 red, white and blue balloons to represent all of those killed
in the World Trade Center collapse.
Fitting Memorial: Queens' Voices
The Queens families of
Sept. 11 victims and their neighbors joined together at LaGuardia Community
College on Aug. 29 to add their voices and their imaginations to the
planning of the future of the 16-acre site that used to be home to the World
Officials from the Lower
Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey listened as some suggested cultural amenities like a museum
be included, and others said that the site should be left as a cemetery.
Many victims’ families
that attended expressed anger at the LMDC and the PA for giving precedence
to plans to have commercial and retail space and less consideration for
Patrick L. Cartier Sr.
of Jackson Heights, who lost his son James in Tower 2, had harsh words for
past proposals, saying that the greed of business owners had enveloped the
planning of the site. “This has just become all about money, that’s all
it’s become,” he said.
of 23-year old firefighter Christopher Santora, agreed that the families
have not been included much in past planning, but she felt this Long Island
City meeting was a step in the right direction. And Santora noted that it
was only this week that she received a letter from Mayor Bloomberg inviting
her to memorial services and expressing his condolences.
“[Bloomberg] has not
given families advanced notifications . . . We are not being dismissed and
not really being considered an important element.”
Winters of the LMDC assured that public involvement would be key in the
request for proposals this time around. At the Queens meeting, the LMDC
presented very broad plans for including elements of a memorial with a
preference for recognition of the footprints, a change of the street grid, a
connector over West Street, parks and recreation, commercial office space,
and retail space.
plan is to expand the design efforts and draw input from the design
community. Up to five teams are going to be selected for design plans by
LMDC on Sept. 30 and final drawings and plans have to be submitted by Nov.
Of Falling Towers
When Community Board 7
Chairman Eugene Kelty sees footage of Sept. 11 on his television set, he’s
quick to turn it off.
The horror of that day
is too “overwhelming” for Kelty, who has been a member of the New York
City Fire Department (FDNY) for 23 years, and is currently a Captain of
Manhattan’s Engine Company 10 – the company located directly across the
street from the World Trade Center.
At the one-year
anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Kelty said “a lot of
really bad memories are coming back to the surface . . . . I just started to
get over that. Now, with all the pictures on television, it’s all coming
back . . . I find I don’t like to watch TV now.”
On the morning of Sept.
11, Kelty headed to lower Manhattan to lend a hand to the rescue efforts,
and said he was inside the firehouse when the first Tower collapsed. He was
able to run out of the area, but the firehouse was badly damaged, and five
firefighters from his house were lost. Kelty said, “I’ll never forget
those guys. Everything we do now is in memory of them . . . There were a lot
of heroes at Ground Zero that don’t get mentioned, and we always have to
Kelty said he’s glad
that the City has been recovering over the past year, but said he is
“worried” about the families of those who were lost on Sept. 11. He
said, “I just hope the families can recover. A lot of my guys are still
having problems. Some have moved forward, but others have moved backwards.
I’m a little worried about that.”
firehouse is being repaired, and Engine 10 and Ladder 10 – the companies
that shared the house – are operating with Engine 71 and Ladder 1 in
Manhattan. He said his house is scheduled to be repaired in March, and said,
“That’s going to be very hard. The Trade Center is going to get
repaired, and we’re going to have a lot people coming in to say “hi”
and ask questions. And we love their prayers and their thanks, but
sometimes, we need time to ourselves. We’re going to have to ask people to
respect our time, which won’t be easy.”
Kelty said at presstime
that he planned to spend Sept. 11 with
“his firefighters,” and said he hopes the public will respect the Fire
Department’s desire to be alone in “quiet solitude” on the
anniversary. He said, “A lot of guys just want to be together to comfort
each other . . . It’s real hard on the anniversary. It really is. The old
memories are so painful.”
Kelty said his friends at the Community Board “kept him going this past year,” and laughed when members brought him this month’s special edition of US News and World Report – which he is featured in – to autograph at their Sept. 9 board meeting. Kelty, said he was “just one of many” who made a contribution, and signed one magazine, “In memory of my firefighters.”
Artist's Book Preserves Unique Perspectives Of Sept. 11
Following the rallying
cry of “we will never
forget,” a Southeast Queens artist has come up with the idea for an
interactive book that aims to capture the grim reality of the attacks
through art and preserving personal histories of the aftermath for future
William West, a self described “poetical, graphical” artist from Jamaica is the author of The Landscape Of Ground Zero, a collection of words and artwork that captures the days and weeks at Ground Zero after Sept. 11 and gives readers a chance to write their reactions.
“After seeing many
photographs of Ground Zero, particularly in regards to the lives that were
lost and the heroes that evolved from that tragic event, I felt the need to
present the Landscape of Ground Zero,” West said.
“Because this an
ever-evolving story with so many points of view, I felt that you should
become part of this written story. Therefore I have provided space for you
to write how you feel directly under each picture.”
“The poetry captures
the mood, feelings and the facts about what happened that day. The lines
underneath are for you, as owner of the book, (to) write your comments,
share your feelings and thoughts and pass on your thoughts.”
pages of The Landscape At Ground Zero, are filled with West’s artwork
depicting the days after the terrorist attacks.
His one-of-a-kind artwork and the way it was created is a “trade secret,” he explained.
West said the idea for
the book about the attacks came three weeks after Sept. 11, when he saw a
television news segment that explained there were few words in history
textbooks about the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.
“I felt I should do
something,” West said. “ I said, ‘this has to go down in writing.’
That was the impetus.”
That’s why his book
includes lines for comments, he said.
“What I want to happen
when they read – I want to know how they felt. If it helped them convey
thoughts and feelings.”
The tears welled up in
his eyes as he recounted Sept. 11, 2001.
“I was at home,”
He explained the fear he
felt knowing that his wife Princess, who works for the New York Stock
Exchange and sons Christopher, a 21-year-old computer networker, and William
Jr., a 23-year-old emergency medical technician, might have been near the
Each time the phone rang
the tension grew.
“My son Chris called
alerting me to what happened” and to let me know he was all right. West
said. “Then some people from my church called.”
“I was nervous,” he
West said he breathed a
sigh of relief when his wife called him that evening to let him know she was
Later he was informed
that William Jr. was not stationed near Ground Zero that day.
His family was safe, but
he remained haunted.
he hopes that his book and art collection, “will serve as a historic
reminder of what happened and why we must as a country continue to pray and
guard our liberty.”
Street For Flushing 'Kid'
On the morning of Sept.
11, 2001, Firefighter Scott Kopytko was returning to his Manhattan firehouse
after finishing an overtime shift when he saw his company’s firetrucks
pulling out of the station.
When he heard what was going on at the World Trade Center, he joined his fellow firefighters, and rushed to the scene to rescue those trapped in the burning Twin Towers.
Kopytko, a 32-year-old
Flushing native who was only a few credits away from obtaining his
master’s degree in finance at St. John’s University, was last heard from
on the 71st floor of the South Tower, the first building to collapse.
Ironically, Kopytko used to work in the South Tower for a commodities firm,
but left the company when it moved to Chicago.
This week, at a Sept. 9
Community Board 7 meeting, Kopytko’s mother Joyce Mercer tearfully asked
the board to ceremoniously rename the Greenstreet Triangle between Oak
Avenue, Quince Avenue and 158th Street in Flushing after her son, who she
called, “a great kid.” After giving Mercer a standing ovation, the Board
obliged, and the full Council will vote on the name change in the next few
Mercer, who attended the
meeting with her husband Russell, told the Tribune that dealing with
the loss of her only son has been harder near the one-year anniversary of
Sept. 11 than ever before. She said, “It is so much harder now. I don’t
really know why. I guess when it first happened, we had some hope, you know.
We had so much comfort and so many other things to deal with. Now we have to
face this. Reality is setting in, and it’s hard.”
Mercer explained that
Kopytko’s remains were never found, and while the family held a memorial
service for him on his birthday, she said they never felt closure. She said,
“We have to deal with it. Everybody dies. But there are certain things you
do, and one is you have a funeral with a body. We didn’t have that. It’s
just extremely difficult.”
Kopytko was born at
Flushing Hospital on Dec. 2, and attended school at PS 163, St. Anne’s
School, and Francis Lewis High School. He obtained his bachelor’s degree
in computer science at St. John’s University, and worked in the finance
industry before taking the Fire Department test in 1993. Five years after
taking it, he was called into action, and worked at Ladder Company 15 for
three years before he was called to the Trade Center on Sept. 11. He was in
graduate school for finance, and Mercer said, “He was so close to getting
it. It’s such a shame.”
wasn’t sure what she was going to do on Sept. 11, 2002, but said, “It
will be a day to remember him. It will be very painful, but we have other
families around us, and we’ll get through it . . . We have no choice.”
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