The New Hyde Park Fire District is paying tribute to the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a new monument that features a piece of steel from the twin towers.
The monument will be dedicated Friday evening to the 14 New Hyde Park residents who lost their lives either that day or afterward from related illnesses. It is a gesture that the community will not forget them, fire district officials said.
Jim Kane, a former chief of New Hyde Park Fire Department and a FDNY firefighter involved in the 9/11 rescue efforts, called the project a “labor of love.”
The monument is the result of a two-year effort by the New Hyde Park Fire District. The district acquired a piece of steel from the towers in November 2015 and decided to create a memorial that would serve as a place of solace and comfort for the community.
The memorial, which is in the firehouse parking lot, is built around the 16-inch by 16-inch steel piece, which has grown rusty over the years, and mounted on a stainless steel base. Behind this, there is a 6-foot scale model of the twin towers, composed of an opaque white polymer that is illuminated at night. Three brick walls, adorned with bronze plaques with the names of community members who died in the World Trade Center attacks, create an alcove around the monument.
Architect Ken Garvin, a New Hyde Park resident, said it was an honor to design the memorial, which he hoped would be a symbol of hope and freedom.
“I wanted it to give the viewer that impression that everything is going to be good,” Garvin said. “We had a horrible thing happen to us, but everybody has pulled together as a community, as a country, driven to a better future.”
The monument also has a second-generation sapling from a damaged pear tree on Ground Zero that has since been rehabilitated and replanted at the Sept. 11 memorial in Manhattan.
Longtime resident Gregory Addamo, 71, who lost his 28-year-old daughter Christy on 9/11, said that it was “heartwarming” to see that the community hadn’t forgotten about the tragedy. Fifteen years have passed, but the wound is still fresh, Addamo said.
“It feels really good to keep her memory alive. It makes me feel good that she’s not forgotten,” Addamo said.
The dedication will be at 7 p.m. at the New Hyde Park Fire Department headquarters at 1555 Jericho Tpke.