Crowds Attend UCCA 9/11 Candlelight Memorial
The United Community Civic Association (UCCA) held its annual Memorial Candlelight Ceremony at McManus Memorial Park, 81st Street and the Grand Central Parkway Service Road, Astoria Heights, on Monday. The ceremony took place at a grove of trees which commemorates the 75 Port Authority of New York and New Jersey employees, the 343 New York City firefighters, 23 police officers and nearly 3,000 civilians who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers collapsed after terrorists flew airliners into the buildings.
Candles were supplied for the ceremony, after which refreshments were served. Among the elected officials attending were state Senator George Onorato, Assemblymember Michael Gianaris, Borough President Helen Marshall and city Councilmembers Peter Vallone Jr. and Eric Gioia and District Attorney Richard Brown. Also in attendance were Retired Fire Department Chief Al Santora and his wife, Maureen, parents of Christopher Santora, the youngest firefighter to die at the World Trade Center. Police estimated some 200 people attended the event, although a local resident at the ceremony maintained that many more were present.
“It was very touching and emotional,” area resident George Stamatiades said of the ceremony. “There was a warm feeling brought about by the fact that so many people came out to participate. Rose Marie Poveromo (UCCA president) did a wonderful job.”