18 Years Later, Rockaway Hasn’t Forgotten

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Rockaway will never forget 9/11. On Wednesday, September 11, the community gathered at Tribute Park on Beach 116th for the annual ceremony to remember the locals who died in that tragedy, 18 years ago.

Despite the park undergoing renovations, Tribute Park was cleared of construction equipment in time for the Wednesday morning ceremony. Community Board 14 Chair Dolores Orr remarked on the importance on continuing to hold the ceremony at the park despite the renovations, and how the contactor and the NYC Parks Department made it possible for the park to be used for the day. She also announced that there would be a ribbon-cutting for the refurbished park sometime in the spring, hinting that the renovations will be complete ahead of the expected completion for fall 2020.

The ceremony went on as normal as possible and included the reading of the names of the more than 70 locals who died on 9/11, while volunteers and family members placed roses around the memorial compass. An FDNY honor guard raised the park’s flag to half-mast. Aerial Acoustics played somber music throughout the ceremony. The FDNY and NYPD marine unit stayed close by on Jamaica Bay and as the ceremony came to a close, they provided a water display that created a rainbow in front of the backdrop of the city skyline with the new Freedom Tower.

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