The 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks is this weekend, and thousands – if not millions – will be commemorating one of the most tragic days in our nation’s history through scores of events throughout the city. Some tributes will be grand and star-studded, like that expected to occur around Ground Zero, while others will be homegrown and humble, like our own Bedford Park service. Some will honor the memories of those lost in unique ways, while others will stick to traditional means. Here’s a rundown of the three events to occur within our coverage area:
- Brooklyn / Bedford Park 9/11 Memorial and Candlelight Vigil – Dubbed “The People’s Memorial,” the handball court at Bill Brown Park and the annual service that accompanies it have together become well-regarded throughout the city as a truly heartfelt grassroots phenomenon. The wall was initially painted in six days by woe-stricken local (and Ground Zero volunteer) Ray Fiore. After its creation, a small group of family and friends who lost loved ones in the attacks organized annual vigils every September 11, passing candles around, reading prayers, recounting memories and pausing to recognize the beams of light protruding from the skyline at Ground Zero. Recent years have seen special guests, including last year’s participation of the color guard from the U.S.S. New York, a ship built in part with steal from the World Trade Center. This remains perhaps the most colorful celebration of life, love and loss to emerge since September 11 and should be experienced by locals at least once in their lives. Last year’s coverage can be seen here. Brooklyn Ink and Daily News have both profiled the memorial recently. Brooklyn / Bedford Park 9/11 Memorial begins at 6:00 p.m., and takes place at the handball court of Bill Brown Park at Avenue X and Bedford Avenue.
- Annual Memorial Ceremony At Marine Park – Hosted by State Senator Martin J. Golden, this annual event features a program of inspirational speeches and patriotic song selection, as well as a candle lighting vigil. Family members of those lost at the World Trade Center will also be in attendance. The Marine Park ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m. in Marine Park, Fillmore Avenue and Marine Parkway.
- New York Harbor 10K – 5K Charity Swim – Some prefer to honor those who’ve passed by undertaking a good cause and a fun activity, rather than dwell in painful memories. That’s one reason this charity swim aims to do. The 5K swim runs parallel to shore, with turn-arounds at the Coney Island Pier and the end of Brighton Beach. With two loops, the race starts and finishes in front of the NY Aquarium in Coney Island. All participants are required to raise a minimum of $200 in pledges, and $10 of your registration fee will be donated to the NY Aquarium. For more information, contact Sener at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not interested in swimming? It’s free to observe, and given the chilly temperatures expected for the water that day, they could use the morale boost or some cheerleaders. The New York Harbor Charity Swim kicks off at 10:00 a.m. Meet in front of the NY Aquarium at 502 Surf Avenue.
Know of any other 9/11 related events going on in Southern Brooklyn? Let us know by e-mail (nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com) or leave it in the comments and we’ll add it to our list!