As Long Island prepares for the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Village of New Hyde Park is set for its own unique commemoration.
On Friday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m., the village will dedicate its 9/11 monument. The dedication will take place at the New Hyde Park Fire Department headquarters, 1555 Jericho Tpke., where the monument was unveiled only last week.
“This monument is being dedicated for the 15th anniversary of the attacks on our country,” said officials with the fire department’s board of trustees. “The monument will honor those members of our community who lost their lives on that tragic day. It is a small gesture to acknowledge to their families that we as a community will not forget their loss.
“The monument will also be in memory of the members of our department who perished on September 11, 2001, as well as those whose passing is a result of an injury or illness sustained while selflessly dedicating themselves to the rescue, recovery and restoration efforts at the World Trade Center,” the dedication statement concluded.
The monument is a melancholy, but inspiring addition to the fire department grounds. It consists of a “forever tree,” a tree that stood on the World Trade Center grounds prior to the attack, a replica of the Twin Towers and memorials to New Hyde Park residents who perished on that day.
One plaque is dedicated to New Hyde Park residents who perished on that day: Christy Addamo, Matthew Grzymalski, Jennifer Howley, Ronald Kloepfer, Michael Lynch, Gerald Olcott, Richard Palazzolo, Dipti Patel, Gregory Reda and David Silver. Both Lynch and Kloepfer were members of the New York City Police Department. The most striking feature of this plaque is the tribute to Jennifer Howley, which gives her name and then adds “and her unborn child,” who, too, was a victim.
A plaque on the western side of the memorial is a tribute to New Hyde Park residents who perished while serving as firemen: Gerard Beyrodt, Robert Ehrer, Kenneth Kumpel and Michael Montessi. This plaque is adorned with a passage from John 15:13: “No greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.”
The monument is a moving sight to all who view it and remain so for future generations of New Hyde Park residents to contemplate upon.