Many storms have hit New York City since its inception, but none as devastating as 9/11...
Not many of those storms hit Staten Island since its inception ...and 9/11 took its toll..274 victims... one of the hardest hit communities on 9/11.
So I went to take my yearly walk around the hallowed ground where my friends, schoolmates, and fellow New Yorkers were murdered so many years ago..I came across, as usual the Battery Park display of The Sphere.. This year there was a poster of that fateful day next to the eternal flame with the progress of the Freedom Tower in background...
The familiar sight of the Never Forget 9/11 Remembrance Flags flying in the breeze...
I walked by FDNY Ten House, Home of FDNY Engine 10, FDNY Ladder 10, and the FDNY Memorial Wall, New York City...The crowd gets smaller every year, but the families and friends keep coming to pay their respects not only here but at the Memorial Pools which are now open...
They are an emotional sight to see...and a serene place to reflect on what once was...
To remember those who were too young to be taken...
...and as some family members come to remember their lost loved ones, they each do it in their own personal way...this gentleman was praying, remembering good times out loud, and it was heartbreaking...the young man on the right was not with this man, but knew how important a moment it was and stood there in silence trying to figure out why this pain exists...this was also heartbreaking to see...and hear.
It's never easy to watch people suffer...so many years later, but as if it was only yesterday...
May We Never Forget...
No sir...No Sir..we will not.
...Their light shines on all of New York City as we continue to heal, grow, rebuild and remember.
This is about as far as I got on my usual walk, most of the entrances I took last year and all the years prior on my walks are closed except for certain tours guided from the various museums which are now all open, and cater to the people around the world who want to get a view from above...I refused to pay money to see what I believe is my right...like I did during my walks in 2008. 2009, 2010, 2011. If you've never read them, or would just like to see the pics I couldn't take this year, you might like to click on those links in order and see the changes that have happened since I began my yearly journey in 2008.
I looked up at the Ironworkers memorial as they work hard to rebuild the future...and I decided to make it to Staten Island for their Memorial Ceremony, one which I have never attended.
The Staten Island memorial is called Postcards because its two white marble wing sculptures represent large postcards, each standing 30 feet (9m) high, to loved ones.
This is located at the St. George Terminal overlooking the New York Harbor, Lower Manhattan, viewing where the World Trade Center once was, and the NEw World Trade Center will be...the memorial was designed by New York architect Masayuki Sono, who won the design competition held in early 2003. Construction began on September 11, 2003. The opening and dedication took place on September 11, 2004.
According to Borough President of Staten Island James Molinaro, "Maybe 60 percent of those of the people whose profile is here, their next of kin, their loved ones, didn't receive any remains. This is their cemetery."
..and its inspiring to see a new youth of Firefighters bringing their children to recognize their fallen brothers and sisters, and all the civilians who died for their country... many of the Firefighters of today were just children when it happened.
...and we grow.
From the Veterans of yesteryear who bravely served...
To the young Veterans of today, who are bravely serving during this wartime.
We Salute you.
From our present leaders of today...( BP James Molinaro & Mayor Bloomberg )
To our current leaders of tomorrow..( Sen. Andrew Lanza & Councilman James Oddo )..We Thank you.
Their tribute surpassed any I've ever seen in person here in NYC...( Mayor Bloomberg and Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro both made speeches that were chilling, and respectfully remembered those who were taken from us with the grace that is so well deserved.Thank you. )
Doves were released to remind us of the Angels who fly above that guide us every day...the ceremony had family members speak, read the names of every lost member from Staten Island while having a musical tribute, with the best of the Island's singers and classical musicians, and was a great reminder of how no matter how diverse a community, it can still come together and be so strong...SO STRONG indeed.
.,.to show that in the face of our adversity, we will not forget, we will remember, rebuild, and reflect..we'll look forward to a new future for New York City...and as a child waves our flag, it reminds me and gives me...gives US.. the proud hope, that OUR positive future will not be far off.
Not many of those storms hit Staten Island...but Staten Island has shown it can take a storm and bounce back with the best of them...I am proud to have grown up on Staten Island...and this ceremony represented all the reasons why I should be.
Many storms have hit New York City since its inception, and we'll endure just like we did the rest.
Its what New York City does.
Its what Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens do.
And for an often forgotten borough...
Its what Staten Island did.
All together...We are New York City.
The Tribute in Light shines strong and gives us strength....
...and to all our brothers and sisters...You got our promise.
We Will Never Forget.
God Bless you all.
...and God Bless America.
Peace out peeps.~ Edward #KONYH