Members of the Meadowmere Park Fire Department unveiled a memorial to the victims of 9/11 on Saturday that features two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center.
“This symbol of steel is a reminder of our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans whose lives were cut too short,” said Kevin Bennett of the fire department. “It’s a reminder to teach our children to teach their children and future generations to never forget.”
The Port Authority wrote a letter to the department asking it if it wanted the steel, according to Chief Dennis Mills. The department said it would make a memorial, and the steel arrived last Wednesday. Department members worked for two days setting up the memorial.
“Two days ago this was just grass. Look what’s behind me, it’s gorgeous,” said Meadowmere Park Civic Association President Ruth Samuelson. “Everyday when we pass here, we’ll say a prayer for those 3,000 who died and their families and friends and the troops fighting in the Middle East so this never happens again.”
The unveiling followed a street renaming ceremony in honor of Thomas Jurgens, a member of the Meadowmere Fire Department and New York State court officer who died while responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center.
“This memorial is not just for Meadowmere Park, it’s for everyone around the world who still feels the pain of 9/11,” said Chief Kevin Carrero. “It sends a message that we will never forget.”
After the unveiling, members of the community were invited to plant flags in the area around the steel.
“Steel like life, is strong, and in a moment, vulnerable. These are pieces of steel, but they are also arms of the courageous,” said Msgr. Paul Rahilly of St. Joachim’s Church in Cedarhurst. “May we be like this steel — signs that constantly raise our hearts, our arms and our lives to god.”