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September 11 observances - Borough to reflect on the anniversary of WTC attacks

The seventh anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks is being observed across Brooklyn in a variety of ways.

From candlelight vigils to runs, events will be held to mark the somber occasion, both on 9/11 and before and after the anniversary – to encourage remembrance of those who perished and to provide comfort to those whose friends or family members were victims of the attacks.

There are several memorial services being held on September 11. State Senator Marty Golden will host two memorial events, one in Marine Park and one on the American Veterans Memorial Pier at 69th Street, in the shadow of a memorial to those who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

The Marine Park memorial will take place at 6 p.m., at the field house near Fillmore Avenue, and will encompass prayers, a moment of silence and music.

Then, at 8 p.m., the event at the pier will begin. Among the highlights will be a candle-lighting ceremony, a 21-gun salute and a musical performance by Xaverian High School students as well as prayers and a moment of silence.

At both events, two bunches of balloons – one containing nine and the other 11 – will be released into the atmosphere in memory of those who died.

“We’ve done this every year,” noted Golden of the remembrance services, “and we plan to do it as long as time will permit. It gives solace to the families, and gives us an opportunity to celebrate the lives of the people who were lost on 9/11. It’s also an opportunity for the community to grieve with the families and to be with each other on the anniversary of one of the worst days in the nation’s history.”

East Flatbush Event

In East Flatbush, several groups will be holding a candle-lighting service at Paerdegat Park, Albany and Foster Avenues, at 7 p.m. on September 11.

The event, which is debuting this year, is intended to provide area residents with a local memorial event, “Where the Brooklyn community can pay its respects for the contributions and loss of life experienced on September 11,” said Wellington Sharpe, the president and founder of the Congress of Caribbean-Americans in New York, which is sponsoring the event in conjunction with the Coral Reef Experience, the Brooklyn Farragut Lions Club, and the office of City Councilmember Kendall Stewart.

The disaster at the World Trade Center, added Sharpe, “affects all of us. We are all one big family, and we want to show respect and support for the families that lost loved ones.”

There will also be a memorial service in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, at a 9/11 monument that stands at the intersection of Conselyea Street and Graham Avenue. At 7 p.m. on September 11, there will be a prayer service at the monument that is organized by the Knights of Columbus, with participants heading over afterwards to St. Francis of Paola Church on Conselyea Street, where a mass will be said.

According to Frank DeVito, the grand knight of the local Knights of Col umbus chapter, a memorial stone containing the names of eight area residents who perished in the terrorist attacks was put up at the corner after an impromptu monument – a board that said, “in memory of all those who lost their lives” -- was erected there, in the wake of the attack.

The area residents who stood on the corner on September 11, 2001, recalled DeVito, “Saw the twin towers collapse before their eyes, and took it to heart.” In particular, DeVito said, one member of the Knights of Columbus, Steve Guardino, was standing and watching the disaster. Guardino, said DeVito, “Didn’t want anybody to forget,” and led the charge to have a monument at the corner.

Evening Vigil

Also on September 11, at 7 p.m., there will be a candlelight vigil sponsored by the Brooklyn/Bedford Park 911 Memorial Committee at 7 p.m. at the Handball Court of Bill Brown Park, at Avenue X and Bedford Avenue.

The vigil, which organizers say is intended to “honor the memory of those who perished on 9/11/01,” has been held every year since the attacks. Participants are urged to, “Bring a candle; bring a chair; bring your memories, thoughts and prayers.”

Noted Tina Gray, one of the members of the memorial committee, “The message we are trying to convey to everyone in the neighborhood is that you didn’t have to know any person. We all lost 2,749 people. Every single one of those people were just like you or me, and they were murdered.”

The handball court, she added, was a logical choice to hold the memorial. It was painted, immediately after the attacks, by local resident Ray Fiore, who, said Gray, felt, “he had to do something, so he went to the park and started painting. We carry on the tradition, to make sure nobody forgets the day.”

Peace Through Music

There will also be a variety of musical events, taking place under the aegis of the September Concert Foundation, whose goal is to create “a global day of music for peace,” according to Vice Chairperson Veronica Kelly. In conjunction with the September Concert, there will be 12 free concerts around Brooklyn, harmonizing with hundreds of concerts across the country and around the world.

The Brooklyn venues are:

*William Alexander Middle School 51, 350 Fifth Avenue, where the Middle School 51 Show Choir will perform at a time to be announced;

*The Target Community Garden, 931-933 Bedford Avenue, which will have Deborah Bond and other performances from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.;

*Rose Live Music, 345 Grand Street, where Mobius Collective and DJ Misbehaviour and others will play from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.;

*Xaverian High School, 7100 Shore Road, where the school band and chorus will perform, at a time that is still to be announced;

*CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, where Bonga & the Vodou Drums of Haiti will perform from noon to 1 p.m.; and,

*Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, where chamber music by the Brooklyn Symphony is expected to begin at noon.

In addition, the musical performance being held at the 69th Street Pier as part of the evening memorial service is also one of the September Concert events.

Bar 4, 444 7th Street, will have rock and pop music and Spread Gallery, 104 Meserole Street, will have jazz, both starting at 8 p.m.

And Goodbye Blue Monday, 1087 Broadway, Norwegian Christian Home & Health Center, 1250 67th Street, and The Commons, One Metrotech Center, will also be hosting live music.

For further information, log onto www. septemberconcert.org. or call 212-333-3399.

Beforehand

Several groups are mounting events in advance of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

The Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), which each year puts together a memorial project, will present an extended essay called “The Burden of the Ephemeral” along with a variety of photographs about one week prior to the anniversary. The work will be posted online and will remain in the council’s archives after the anniversary.

The author is Kay Turner, folklorist for the BAC, who describes the piece as “a longer essay on the idea of memorials and the emergence of spontaneous memorials since the attacks.”

Choreographed Interpretation

On September 11, the Silver-Brown Dance Co. will memorialize the attacks at DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park on Thursday, September 11, at 7 p.m.

This is the fifth year that the dance series, known as OASIS 5, will be held at the park, in the cove between the bridges. Sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the borough president’s office and Goldman, Sachs & Co., admission to all performances is free of charge. For further information, log onto www. silverbrowndance.org or www. brooklynbridgepark. org. eva silverstein, 917-482-8404.

Tunnel to Towers

There will be at least one 9/11-related event after the anniversary. On Sunday, September 28, the Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk will be held, with participants, according to the event’s website, “Follow(ing) in the footsteps of an American hero, Firefighter Stephen Siller, who on September 11th, 2001, ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the twin towers, where he laid down his life for others.”

Siller, a member of Park Slope’s Squad 1, was off-duty when the attack commenced. Learning of it, he headed toward the World Trade Center. When he couldn’t drive through the Battery Tunnel, he left his vehicle and ran through the tunnel to Ground Zero, and was last seen alive, according to the website, at West and Liberty Streets. The event, say its organizers, honors not only Siller but all the firefighters, police officers and emergency service personnel who responded to the attacks.

The Run/Walk is 3.1 miles in length, beginning in Brooklyn at the Gowanus approach to the tunnel at 9:30 a.m., then heading through the tunnel to West Street, turning left at Liberty Street, and heading over to Battery Park Esplanade, then east on Warren Street, south onto West Street, and coming to an end at the intersection of West and Vesey Streets in lower Manhattan.

Money raised from the event will be donated to a variety of charities for children, firefighters.

For further information, call 718-987-1931 or log onto www. tunneltotowersrun. Org.

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