17 Years Later: Remembering 9/11

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It might be easy to forget something that happened 17 years ago, but 9/11 is and never will be one of those things, especially as a tragedy that deeply affected those in Rockaway and Breezy Point. This weekend and on Tuesday, September 11, the Rockaway and Breezy Point communities will pay tribute to those that were killed that tragic day in 2001.

Remembrance ceremonies begin Saturday, September 8 with the Richie Allen Memorial Surf Classic in honor of Allen, a firefighter and surfer who died in the World Trade Center. The day kicks off at 8 a.m. with registration for the kids surf contest, which starts at 9 a.m. on Beach 90th Street. The age categories include Boys 10 and Under, 11-13 and 14-16, and Girls 12 and under and 13-16. The day will also include boogie boarding and paddle boarding, a DJ, food, drinks, t-shirts, prizes and giveaways, plus a memorial paddleout for a friend, brother, son, uncle and a hero—Richie Allen.

Also on September 8, at 11:15 a.m., the Charles F. Heeran Foundation will be holding a 9/11 memorial Mass at St. Francis de Sales Church on Beach 129th Street. The foundation was named after Charlie Heeran, who worked in Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. He was 23 when he died on 9/11. However, the Mass will be held in memory of all of those lost that day.

Breezy Point will also begin its remembrance ceremonies on Saturday, September 8, starting with the 3rd Annual 9/11 Remembrance Race. This 5K run/walk goes from the Roxbury 9/11 Memorial to the Breezy Point Memorial and culminates in an after-party at the Breezy Point ball field featuring the Hell or High Water band, rides, food, drinks, an award ceremony and more. The race starts at 10 a.m. and the party starts at noon. This event helps to raise money for the upkeep of the Roxbury and Breezy Point 9/11 Memorials. With this comes registration fees of $35 for adults, $15 for those under 21, plus fees if you just want to participate in the after-party. To register for the race, head to www.bpremembers911.com.

On Tuesday, September 11, Breezy Point will have its own memorial ceremony. There will be a memorial Mass at the Roxbury 9/11 Memorial at 6 p.m. In the event of rain, the Mass will be held at St. Genevieve’s Church.

Rockaway’s remembrance ceremony will be held on the morning of Tuesday, September 11. Head to Tribute Park on Beach 116th Street at 8:30 a.m. for the ceremony that will include a reading of the names of Rockaway residents killed on 9/11 and the placing of roses. There will also be live music by Aerial Acoustics, including Dorothy Wagner and Dennis Smith, with the vocals of Chazmond Peacock and Steven Wagner. This event is made possible by 1-800-FLOWERS, the DeMatteis family and Friends of Tribute Park.

Rockaway will never forget.

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