Honor the victims of 9/11 at a host of candlelight vigils and ceremonies across Queens

The 9/11 memorial service in 2015 at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village, with the Tribute in Light in the background.
Photo: Robert Pozarycki/QNS

Queens lost hundreds of people in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and every year since that fateful day, the people of this borough have paused to honor their memories with prayer, music, words of comfort and unity.

In the coming week, the borough will again host a litany of candlelight vigils, memorial services, concerts and other tributes as the nation marks the 15th anniversary of the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, the Pentagon outside Washington, DC and on the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, PA.


Family members and relatives of the victims will once again gather in Lower Manhattan on Sunday morning, Sept. 11, for a memorial service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, at the footprint where the Twin Towers once stood. A citywide moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m., the moment when the attack began.

Locally, the tributes to the victims of 9/11 will take place beginning in the days leading up to the observance of the 15th anniversary. All are welcome to participate. Here is a rundown of some the memorial events scheduled to take place, in chronological order.


McManus Memorial Park in Astoria will once again play host to the United Community Civic Association’s annual 9/11 memorial candlelight vigil, which will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8. Representatives of the 114th and 115th precincts, the Port Authority, the Department of Corrections and the Fire Department are expected to participate. The park is located at the corner of 81st Street and the Grand Central Parkway service road. Candles will be provided to all guests.


Maspeth residents will once again gather at Maspeth Memorial Park for the community’s annual 9/11 memorial service, which will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. The program includes Kathleen Nealon performing the national anthem; opening and closing prayers by Rev. Joseph Hoffman, the Fire Department chaplain; a wreath laying by members of the Fire Department; and patriotic music performed by Liz and Bill Huisman. Maspeth Memorial Park is located at the corner of 69th Street and Grand Avenue.


Themed “A Time to Heal and Unite,” Woodside residents will hold its annual candlelight vigil beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Doughboy Park, located at the corner of 56th Street and Woodside Avenue. Presented by the Doughboy Park Patriots, the vigil will feature music and readings. Refreshments will be served after the vigil. For more information, call Ed Bergendahl at 347-239-0814.


People of all faiths were killed in the 9/11 attacks, and the International Buddhist Progress Society New York temple in Flushing is bringing people of all faiths together for a special service at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, Sept. 11. Co-sponsored by Buddha’s Light International Association, the service will include prayers and words of comfort from faith leaders across the five boroughs.The temple is located at 154-37 Barclay Ave.

Forest Hills

The Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps (FHVAC) lost one its own in the 9/11 attacks, and it will honor his memory in an extraordinary way on the 15th anniversary of his death. Teaming up with members of Punishers LEMC, the corps will be holding the “Run for Richie,” a motorcycle run in honor of the corps’ Richard Allen Pearlman, which will take place beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday from Resorts World New York Casino in South Ozone Park. The ride will wind its way from Queens to the World Trade Center, then back into Queens to the FHVAC headquarters at 92-29 Metropolitan Ave., where a memorial service will be held at 4 p.m.

College Point

The Poppenhusen Institute, located at 114-04 14th Road in College Point, will host its annual Sept. 11 memorial concert on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. This year’s program will include a performance by the Tarumi Violinists, soloists Mary Courtney and Grace Cho and words of hope and renewal by Pastor Linda Gold of the First Reformed Church and Sister Ave Clark of Heart to Heart Ministry. Refreshments will be served following the concert. For more information, call 718-358-0067 or email poppenhusen[at]juno.com.


St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood will hold a musical tribute to the victims of 9/11 with a memorial concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The church’s choir, directed by Steven Frank, will perform Gabriel Faure’s Requiem along with selected choral and organ arrangements. St. Matthias Church is located at 58-15 Catalpa Ave.

Bayside Hills

The Bayside Hills Civic Association will pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 during its observance at 7 p.m. on Sunday night at its memorial garden located at the northern corner of Horace Harding Expressway and Bell Boulevard. Local members of the NYPD, the FDNY, the Boy Scouts of America, schools, houses of worship and the Bayside Business Association and Bayside Village BID have been invited to participate.

Middle Village

More than 3,000 people gathered at Juniper Valley Park for a quickly-organized candlelight vigil five days after the 9/11 attacks. The park will again play host to Middle Village‘s annual memorial vigil, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday on the ballfields located off the corner of 78th Street and Juniper Boulevard South. Organized by the 9-11 Candlelight Vigil Committee of Queens, the ceremony will feature music, poems, prayers and reflection. All guests are encouraged to bring a candle or a flashlight along with a lounge chair and an American flag.

Howard Beach

Howard Beach residents will come together to honor the victims of 9/11 with a candlelight vigil scheduled to take place at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night at the headquarters of Engine Company 331/Ladder Company 173, located at 158-57 Cross Bay Blvd. Words of comfort and music will be presented at the event. Refreshments will be served after the vigil concludes.

East Elmhurst

St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst will host its annual “Remember Me Run” and memorial service at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the cemetery located at 72-02 Astoria Blvd. The run raises funds for the Christopher Santora scholarship fund, named for one of the 343 firefighters who perished in the 9/11 attacks. Registration for the run is $25 per person. Following the run, all are invited to attend a memorial service at the cemetery’s Wall of Remembrance honoring the first responders of 9/11 as well as those who died of illnesses related to their work during the recovery operation at the World Trade Center site. For more information, click here or call 718-278-3240.