Howard Beach to mark 21st anniversary of 9/11 attacks with remembrance ceremony

A remembrance ceremony will take place at the Howard Beach community’s 9/11 memorial mural on Sunday afternoon. (Courtesy of Ariola’s office)

As the borough prepares to mark the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on Sunday, Councilwoman Joann Ariola is partnering with the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association to host a September 11th Remembrance ceremony at the Rockwood Park Jewish Center.

The event will take place beginning at 2 p.m. at 156-45 84th St. in Howard Beach at the site of the community’s 9/11 memorial mural and will include the installation of a September 11th Survivor Tree that the Ariola secured for the civic association through the 9/11 Memorial Museum. These trees are grown from seedlings harvested from the original Survivor Tree at the Ground Zero site, which somehow survived the collapse of the Twin Towers and now stands as a testament to the strength and rehabilitation of New York City more than two decades later.

“Sept. 11 is a day that all New Yorkers and Americans should honor and remember,” Ariola said. “It is our duty and obligation to make sure our younger generations know the events of that day and how the entire county came together, united and strong.”

Participants in the tree planting will include survivors of the attacks, family members of those that died that day and those who were affected by diseases from working on “The Pile,” first responders from the community that was there on that day and children from across southern Queens.

“There is now an entire generation of New Yorkers that weren’t alive when the attacks happened, and it is up to us to keep with our promise to never forget,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “We can live up to that promise by remembering those who were killed in the tragedy and the brave first responders who rushed directly into danger and gave their lives to save others.”

Addabbo plans to participate in the Howard Beach observance.

The 9/11 community mural can be found under the Belt Parkway, right behind St. Helen’s Academy, just south of Shore Parkway, near the intersection of 156th Avenue and 84th Street.

“We should tell the stories of the largest rescue mission our country has ever witnessed,” Addabbo said. “We must also provide the surviving first responders with the healthcare they deserve for the conditions they developed from risking their lives on that fateful day. Let us take time this weekend to remember all of these heroes.”

State Senator James Sanders said all New Yorkers look back on the 9/11 attacks with a heavy heart.

“Although it is said time heals all wounds, we still as a country bear the scars inflicted on us that day, even now, 21 years later,” Sanders said. “We will never forget the thousands of innocent people who died senselessly in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., nor will we forget our first responders, courageous men and women in uniform who risked their lives, and in some cases, gave their lives, to save others. We lift up in prayer the families of our fallen brothers and sisters and resolve to protect our American values and freedom.”

Meanwhile, Astoria filmmaker and civil rights activist Brendan Fay will be screening his new documentary “Remembering Mychal – Priest of 9/11” at the Fordham University Campus at Lincoln Center on Sunday at 3 p.m. The film weaves archival footage, images, and words of Father Mychal Judge, the beloved Franciscan priest who served as FDNY Chaplain and became the first certified victim of the 9/11 attacks. He is remembered for his outreach to grieving families of Flight 800, his AIDS ministry, his love for the LGBTQ community, his love of sobriety, and his dedication to the FDNY. Voices include the late Pete Hamill, Malachy McCourt, Mary Somoza, Tom Duane, and Tommy Ryan of the FDNY.

Brendan Fay takes a look back at the life and legacy of his friend Fr. Mychal Judge in his new documentary “Saint of 9/11.” (Courtesy  Eli Moulton)
A new documentary film by Astoria director Brendan Fay explores the life and legacy of Fr. Mychal Judge, the FDNY Chaplain lost at the World Trade Center collapse. (Courtesy Michael Goldman)

“On this 21st anniversary of 9/11, we gather in remembering our priest and good friend Mychal Judge. He had a heart as big as New York,” Fay said. “On Oct. 11, 2001, a month after FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge died in the World Trade Center attacks, friends gathered to grieve, find hope and remember their friend. On 9/11 — a day of death, terror, and profound grief — Mychal Judge is a face of compassion and hope for humanity.”

Tickets are by donation  here.