By Steve Mosco
The men and women who died as a result of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, live on in the memories of their loved ones — and on the streets they called home.
A Maspeth street was renamed for a former police officer who died last year from the effects of working at Ground Zero. Kevin Czartoryski was honored Sunday with the renaming of the street he lived on, 59th Road off 60th Street in Maspeth, when he died at the age of 46..
The stretch of road will now be known as Detective Kevin Czartoryski Place.
Hundreds of friends, family, co-workers and elected officials attended the ceremony and spoke lovingly of the late detective.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), state Assemblywomen Cathy Nolan (D-Ridgewood) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing), state Sens. Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), Council members Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly attended the renaming.
Kelly remembered Czartoryski’s charisma, work ethic and self-effacing humor — all of which endeared him to his fellow officers and the public, which he grew to know in the Police Department’s Public Information Office.
“He shared his warmth and generous spirit with the people of New York and the people he worked with for over 20 years,” said Kelly, who knew Czartoryski as a cadet at St. John’s University. “He was very diplomatic, very hardworking and always put others at ease.”
In the aftermath of 9/11, Czartoryski was assigned to a makeshift morgue at Ground Zero, where he worked helping families identify victims.
“Those days took an emotional toll on everyone,” said Kelly. “In a tragedy we still grieve today, the work took a physical toll on Kevin. We will never forget the sacrifice he made for his city and his country.”
Czartoryski died Dec. 5, 2010, two years after his retirement, which resulted from pulmonary fibrosis and other ailments, including various cancers that developed after his work on the rescue and recovery efforts related to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Detectives’ Endowment Association President Michael Palladino said he will remember Czartoryski for his heroism and for who he was as a person, not just as a police officer.
“Kevin loved his work and loved life as well,” says Palladino. “I admire his heroism not only for his work at Ground Zero, but for how he conducted himself during the last days of his life.”
Among his posts were Queens Narcotics and the Hate Crimes Task Force. After Sept. 11, he moved to Public Information, where he served as the commissioner’s liaison to the city’s gay community.
“We owe it to Kevin to never forget the sacrifice he made. With this street, we add one more assurance that his name will live on in perpetuity,” said Kelly.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.