By Katie McFadden
It’s been 22 years since hijackers used planes as weapons, crashing them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. On the Rockaway peninsula, one of the hardest hit communities, losing around 70 residents, it is a day that’s remembered every year around the anniversary. Ceremonies are held to ensure people “Never Forget,” and to teach new generations what happened that day. There will be several ways to honor the fallen on Monday, September 11 and the days around it.
On Friday, September 8, Councilwoman Joann Ariola is sponsoring a “Sounds of Freedom” concert at 6:30 p.m. at Tribute Park on Beach 116th Street and the bay. The Queens Symphony Orchestra will be playing patriotic music to honor and remember those who died on September 11. It is recommended to bring a chair.
On Saturday, September 9, Breezy Point will remember with their annual 5k Remembrance Race. This fun run starts at 10 a.m. in Roxbury and continues to the 9/11 Memorial in Breezy Point and is followed by an after party at the Breezy ballfields. The run helps fundraise for the maintenance of the Roxbury and Breezy Point 9/11 memorials. Participants can run, jog or walk. For more information or to register, head to: www.bpremembers911.com or email: email@example.com
Also on Saturday, September 9, the 9/11 NYPD Class will hold its annual memorial prayer service on the boardwalk at Beach 106th Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of the 9/11 NYPD Academy class will be in attendance to share their stories and honor the officers who died. Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato will be the keynote speaker. All are welcome.
In another memorial on Saturday, September 9, Rockaway will remember the late Charlie Heeran, a Rockaway resident and Cantor Fitzgerald employee who died on 9/11. The Charles F. Heeran Foundation will hold a Mass at 11:15 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Church on Beach 129th Street. The Mass will be held to remember all of those lost on 9/11, plus in memory of Commissioner William Feehan and in honor of Coach Joe Featherston of the Special Olympics. A reception will follow at the family restaurant, The Harbor Light, for $50 per person.
On Sunday, September 10, the late Firefighter Richie Allen will be remembered at the annual Richie Allen Memorial Surf Classic on Beach 91st Street. The event starts with sign ups for the kids’ surf contest at 8 a.m., with the contest beginning at 9 a.m. The day will include DJ music, food, prizes and giveaways and a memorial paddle out.
On Monday, September 11, Friends of Tribute Park hosts the annual 9/11 ceremony at the park on Beach 116th Street and the bayside, with the Freedom Tower as the backdrop. The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. The names of the Rockaway residents who died that day will be read as roses are placed around the park’s center compass. Aerial Acoustics will play music while Chazmond Peacock will sing. This event is made possible with the generosity of 1-800-Flowers and the DeMatteis Family.
On Monday, September 11, Broad Channel will remember. The VFW will hold a prayer and reflection at 6 p.m. at the VFW Post 260 (705 Shad Creek Road).
In Howard Beach, on Sunday, September 10 at 2 p.m., the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association is hosting a 9/11 Remembrance ceremony at the 9/11 memorial mural (84th Street between 157th Avenue and Shore Parkway).