Heroes Memorial Way for 9/11 OK’d by CB 7

Tess McRae, Queens Chronicle

After Vincent Cangelosi, a bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald working on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center’s Tower One, died with so many others on September 11, 2001, his family wanted to honor him.

Danny Naimol testifies about street renaming at a CB 7 meeting.Photo by Tess McRae

Danny Naimol testifies about street renaming at a CB 7 meeting.Photo by Tess McRae

In remembrance of the Flushing resident, who was only 30 when he was killed in the attack, a proposal was broached to co-name a street after Cangelosi.

“It was originally done on behalf of the cousins, to remember Vinnie,” Danny Naimol, Cangelosi’s cousin ,said at Monday’s Community Board 7 meeting in Flushing.

But the more Naimol and his family had time to think, the more they realized they wanted to honor not one person, but all those who gave or lost their lives on that fateful day. The family created a memorial space near St. Mel’s Church in Flushing on the corner of 154th Street and 26th Avenue — the street that would have been named for Cangelosi.

At the community board meeting, Naimol testified before the members and asked them to approve a street co-naming in place of the original proposal, “Vincent Cangelosi Memorial Way.”

“We felt with the memorial, we should honor all civil servants, police officers and firefighters,” Naimol said. “So we’d like to name the street ‘Heroes Memorial Way.’ This way we can pay tribute not just to one person, but to everyone who lays down our lives.”

The monument is still being installed and can be added to as need be. Recently, the family had the idea of honoring NYPD Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos — the men who were shot to death in December just for being in the police force.

Though the proposed street renaming was overwhelmingly supported, many members had questions about the monument.

“I think opening it up to all these people opens a new can of worms,” one board member said. “We have to decide what we consider a hero and where the line will be for who to include and who not to include. I don’t see the relevance Liu and Ramos have to Queens. Who will decide who gets their name on the monument and who doesn’t?”

Naimol, visibly flustered by the barrage of questions being thrown at him, said he is working to create a foundation and executive board to work out logistics.

CB 7 Chairman Gene Kelty eventually interrupted the Q-and-A session, saying all the board has a say on is the naming of the street, not the memorial itself.

“That’s their problem, it’s their work in progress,” he said. “All we need to ask about is the naming of the street. Everything else is none of our business.”

Eventually, the board unanimously approved the rider for Heroes Memorial Way.

As the memorial is still in the works, there are no set details for the foundation. Naimol said he is, however, accepting donations to get the project underway. Those interested in the memorial or donating can call Naimol at 646-515-2015.

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