Candlelight vigils and memorial ceremonies will be held in Queens to mark 17th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Photo by Dean Moses

Nearly 17 years after it happened, the painful memories of Sept. 11, 2001, still remain fresh on the minds of so many Queens residents who were alive to experience it.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, the borough held candlelight vigils and prayerful ceremonies honoring the victims and especially the police officers, firefighters and paramedics who made the ultimate sacrifice while trying to save thousands of people in Lower Manhattan.

That tradition of remembrance will continue in the days approaching the attacks’ 17th anniversary. In addition to the annual ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, Queens neighborhoods will host various tributes to the victims of the attacks at public parks and venues across the borough.

Some of the scheduled memorial events, set to take place rain or shine, include the following (in chronological order):

Kew Gardens

Sometimes the best way to reflect on a tragedy is through conversation. All are invited to take part in such a conversation about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens. Jo-Anne Raskin, a member of the Friends of Maple Grove, will moderate a talk about the attacks and how it transformed the lives of New Yorkers. The event takes place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Maple Grove Cemetery’s Victorian Administrative Building, 83-15 Kew Gardens Rd. Please reserve a seat in advance by emailing info@friendsofmaplegrove.org.


Residents of Maspeth and surrounding communities will come together for a memorial ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sept. 8 at Maspeth Memorial Park, located at the corner of 69th Street and Grand Avenue. With the Manhattan skyline in the background, participants will remember the victims of 9/11 through prayers, music and words of reflection. Members of the Fire Department will also lay wreaths at the memorial; the park is located a few steps from the headquarters of Squad Company 288/Haz-Mat 1, which suffered significant losses in responding to the 9/11 attacks.

East Elmhurst

St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst will honor the first responders who died at the World Trade Center — and those who died years later from illnesses sustained as a result of their work during recovery efforts at Ground Zero — with a memorial ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sept. 8. During the vigil, the cemetery will also honor the winners of its annual essay contest titled, “What it means to be American.” The vigil will take place at the cemetery located at 72-02 Astoria Blvd.; for more information, call 718-278-3240.

Forest Hills

Members of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps will honor one of their own who died while responding to the 9/11 attacks by participating in the “Run for Richie” motorcycle ride on Sept. 9. The event is named in honor of Richard Allen Pearlman, an 18-year-old ambulance corps volunteer who rushed down to the Twin Towers to assist in the emergency response; he died after the South Tower collapsed. The motorcycle ride starts and ends in the parking lot of Resorts World Casino New York City, located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park; registration begins at 8:30 a.m. For more details, call 718-521-6507 or visit nycpunisherslemc.com/events/9-09-18-Ride.html.

College Point

The Poppenhusen Institute will host its annual 9/11 Memorial Program at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9. The event includes music from Mary Courtney of Morning Star and the Taurmi Violinists. The concert will take place in the garden of the institute located at 114-04 14th Rd.; in the event of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors. For more information, visit poppenhuseninstitute.org.

The Bayside Hills 9/11 memorial service in 2017 (File photo/QNS)
The Bayside Hills 9/11 memorial service in 2017 (File photo/QNS)


In honor of the 9/11 victims, the Bayside Hills Civic Association will hold its annual memorial ceremony at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, Sept. 11. Hundreds will gather at the community’s memorial garden, located at the corner of Bell Boulevard and the westbound Horace Harding Expressway, for memorial songs and words of comfort. Visit baysidehills.info for more information.

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The Tribute in Light, representing the lost Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, will once again be illuminated on the evening of Sept. 11. Twin beams of light will rise to the heavens from a point in Lower Manhattan close to where the towers once stood. The lights will appear shortly after sundown and remain on through the night before fading away at dawn on Sept. 12.


Middle Village

More than 3,000 people gathered on the ballfields of Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village five days after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 for a remarkable candlelight vigil honoring the victims. The community will once again gather at the park on the 17th anniversary of the attacks on Tuesday, Sept. 11, for a candlelight vigil beginning at 7:30 p.m. Organized by the 9/11 Candlelight Vigil Committee of Queens, the program includes music, poems and other reflection. All are encouraged to bring candles or flashlights, a lawn chair and an American flag. For more details, visit 911vigil.org.


As in past years, Astoria residents will hold the community’s annual 9/11 candlelight vigil at McManus Memorial Park on Wednesday night, Sept. 12. Organized by the United Community Civic Association and the Port Authority, the tribute will include remarks from local lawmakers, music and words of reflection. The ceremony gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at the park located off the intersection of 81st Street and the Grand Central Parkway service road.


Residents of Glendale will once again gather at the community’s 9/11 memorial at Dry Harbor Playground for a ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 16, honoring the victims of the attacks. The vigil, which gets underway at 12:30 p.m., will include the reading of the names of 42 residents of Glendale, Middle Village and Woodhaven who perished at the World Trade Center. Dry Harbor Playground is located at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and 80th Street.

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Thousands of people, including families and friends of victims of the 9/11 attacks, will again gather in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, Sept. 11, for the National September 11 Memorial ceremony.

The vigil begins with the tolling of bells and a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center’s North Tower. After a moment of silence, individuals will read the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the 9/11 attacks.

The reading of names will be interrupted with moments of silence and bell ringing marking the timeline of the tragedy:

  • 9:03 a.m., when hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 struck the World Trade Center’s South Tower
  • 9:37 a.m., when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon
  • 9:59 a.m., when the South Tower collapsed
  • 10:03 a.m., when hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania
  • 10:28 a.m., when the North Tower collapsed

The National September 11 Memorial will be closed for much of the day on Sept. 11 for the ceremony, and will be reopened to the public at 3 p.m. For more information, visit 911memorial.org.


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