Staten Island’s Postcards Memorial is maintained with respect

By Sandra Zummo Staten Island Advance

A worker cleans the face of the Postcards Memorial in St. George. (Sean Sweeney)

A worker cleans the face of the Postcards Memorial in St. George. (Sean Sweeney)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — It’s a beautiful picture for a beautiful day as a worker perches on scaffolding to wash a portion of the dramatic Postcards Memorial in St. George.

According to Joanne Nuzzo, the borough president’s director of special events, the memorial is cleaned once a month or so to maintain it in pristine condition.

Ever since the memorial to 274 Staten Islanders lost in both the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center was completed, the staff at Borough Hall has kept a close eye on what Borough President James P. Molinaro has called “a cemetery for the families.”

“I send a photographer down every few weeks to see if they’re chipped or cracked,” said Ms. Nuzzo, adding that Borough Hall also relies on “the eyes of the people who visit” the memorial to notify it of any damage or vandalism.

So it was distressing recently to hear from Joanne Barbara, widow of FDNY Assistant Chief of Department Gerard Barbara, who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attack, that her husband’s profile had been vandalized.

“About three weeks ago, we were down there and noticed that one of the profiles was missing,” Ms. Nuzzo said. “It happened that Mrs. Barbara’s husband’s plaque was next to the missing one, so we thought maybe it had gotten loose when the other one was removed.” As it turned out, it, too, had been vandalized.

As for repairs, Ms. Nuzzo notes replacing the facial profiles is a long process.

“When the whole profile is missing they have to go to a quarry upstate to get the proper stone to replace it,” she said. “Then the whole profile has to be created again. It’s not like these are all the same round shape; they’re individual profiles, so it’s more involved.”

Ms. Nuzzo said the city Economic Development Corp., was alerted to the missing profiles and is in the process of having them redone.

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