Although it came a few months after the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Valley Stream Junior Fire Department unveiled a plaque at the monument at Hendrickson Park, explaining to visitors the significance of the memorial.
On Dec. 1, member of the juniors, Valley Stream firefighters and village officials gathered at noon to present the plaque. The juniors raised money over several months to pay for the plaque, including by selling snacks during Valley Stream‚Äôs summer concert series.
The monument at Hendrickson Park includes a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center. It is anchored on a base designed to mimic the twin towers, and points toward the Freedom Tower in Manhattan.
Valley Stream‚Äôs Sept. 11 memorial also pays tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and aboard hijacked Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania. The plaque explains all the nuances of the design.
‚ÄúMany residents have inquired and asked about the thought process behind this memorial,‚ÄĚ Mayor Ed Fare said, ‚Äúwhich by all practical accounts is one of the most thoughtful, moving and beautiful tributes to not only the 3,000 souls who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, but to all of the friends, family and first responders who continue to pass away and suffer today.‚ÄĚ
Junior Capt. Richie Field and Neil Aliventi unveiled the plaque at the 15-minute ceremony. ‚ÄúA lot of people did not know why that was there,‚ÄĚ Aliventi said of the monument. ‚ÄúThey can read it and know what the structure is for.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt was really nice that we could do that for the community,‚ÄĚ added Cristina Russo, secretary of the Juniors, which raised about $1,000 for the plaque.
Mike Field, advisor of the juniors, thanked the boys and girls for their hard work in raising the money. He said they are grateful to village officials for allowing them the opportunity to contribute something meaningful to Valley Stream.