Lauren R. Harrison Newsday
The pouring rain Saturday morning did not keep more than 400 people from solemnly gathering at 9/11 Responders Remembered Park in Nesconset to honor first responders who died from illnesses related to their heroic efforts at Ground Zero.
Claudette Haughton, who lost her nephew, OJ Ferguson of the New York City DOT, traces his name during a service to mark the addition of new names to the memorial wall in Nesconset (Credit: Ed Betz)
One hundred names were added to three, 20-foot-long, 6-foot-high walls of granite at the park. Each name was read aloud, followed by the ringing of a bell.
“We should be giving thanks to the 100 names we added and the 500 that are on the wall, because they give us validity,” said John Feal, president of the FealGood Foundation, a nonprofit that helped raise money to build the park. With umbrellas hoisted and a large flag suspended by two fire trucks on Gibbs Pond Road, at the semiannual ceremony in its fifth year, brought out first responders, families who lost loved ones and politicians alike.
Visitors expressed gratitude and shed tears at the event, which included a bagpipe rendition of “God Bless America,” playing of “Taps,” and acoustic performances. Read More