9/11 Heroes Honored For Their Sacrifice – QNS.com

9/11 Heroes Honored For Their Sacrifice

The legacy of the Queens firefighters who perished in the 9/11 attacks is now, finally and literally, etched in stone.
In a moving ceremony on a warm and sunny Friday morning, which many likened to that of September 11, 2001, hundreds gathered at St. Michaels Cemetery in East Elmhurst for the unveiling of the "9/11 Queens Firefighters Memorial." The impressive monument, crafted of black and gray granite, honors the 76 heroes of the FDNY who either lived or worked in Queens and died in the worst attack on American soil in the nations history. The monument is equipped with new technology Memory Medallions that allow visitors to use a handheld PDA to access more information than just the names of the deceased.
Scores of elected officials, clergy and FDNY officers addressed the crowd consisting mainly of family, friends and neighbors of the fallen firefighters.
"These are the heroes of my generation," said Congressman Joe Crowley, whose own cousin, John Moran, was among those honored.
"I am never prouder to be a New Yorker than when I think about our firefighters," said City Council Speaker Gifford Miller. "Their heroism and bravery literally saved thousands and thousands of lives that day."
Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr., who represents the area surrounding St. Michaels, had comforting words for the families of those lost:
"When they got to the top floors of those Towers, they didnt see the fiery hell they expected. They saw the face of God, and He said to them, Good job, relax, you are with me now."
Chief Al Santora, whose son Christopher was the youngest member of the FDNY to die in the World Trade Center and whose smiling image appears etched in the black granite to honor all the firefighters, also took time out to salute those who survived the nightmare of that day.
"There are still a lot of fellas who are still standing," Santora said. "What they do every day is a task, a job, that most people would never want to do. To the guys who are still here, I salute you."
E-mail this reporter at editrich@queenscourier.com .

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