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9/11 responders park construction to begin

Supporters look on during a groundbreaking ceremony for

Supporters look on during a groundbreaking ceremony for a park honoring 9/11 first-responders in Nesconset. (April 3, 2011) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the month on a Nesconset park honoring people who died after working at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center.

Organizers hope to complete construction of the 9/11 Responders Remembered Park in time for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 10.

A committee planning the park received a federal tax exemption last week, enabling it to take control of town land on the northeast corner of Gibbs Pond Road and Smithtown Boulevard, the site designated for the memorial. Town land may be transferred only to nonprofits, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), who lobbied for the tax exemption.

The park is expected to include a 20-foot-tall clock and a 60-foot-long granite wall with the names of more than 900 people known to have died from illnesses believed to result from their work at Ground Zero. Organizers said it is the first they know of in honor of 9/11 responders.

Almost all of the work on the park is being donated. Construction is expected to take four to six weeks.

Above, supporters look on during a groundbreaking ceremony for a park honoring 9/11 first-responders in Nesconset. (April 3, 2011)

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