Remembering 9/11 Locally


 It has been sixteen years since that tragic day where thousands were killed in a series of terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The Rockaway peninsula took a big personal hit, losing more than 70 members of the community, and Rockaway will never forget. There are several events taking place around town to remember the fallen.

Last year, Brian Flanigan kicked off a new tradition, the 9/11 Remembrance race, to honor the fallen and keep their memory alive. The 2nd Annual 9/11 Remembrance Race is this Saturday, September 9. All are welcome to participate in a 5K Fun Run that starts at the 9/11 Memorial in Roxbury and makes its way to the Breezy Point 9/11 Memorial. The race starts at 10 a.m., with a party featuring live music by the Hell or High Water Band, food, rides and runner awards immediately after at the Breezy Ball Field, from noon to 4 p.m.

Advanced registration is now open online at, or there will be day-of registration starting at 9 a.m. at the Roxbury 9/11 Memorial. The runners fee for those 21 and over is $35 and $15 for those younger than 21. For those who just want to partake in the festivities after the run, it is $20 for those 21 and older and $10 for those under 21. The race is open to anyone, but non-shareholders are encouraged to get a parking pass from a shareholder in advance to park in the private community.

The fees help go to good causes. About 75 percent of last year’s proceeds went toward to 9/11 Memorial Fund for the upkeep of the Breezy Point and Roxbury memorials and 25 percent went to the ALS ONE organization. This year, the proceeds will be split equally between The Caffrey Conroy Learning Center, School Scholarship Money for the Kids, which will go to one child runner selected at random, local volunteer fire departments and the 9/11 Memorial Fund.

Also on Saturday, September 9, the Charlie Heeran Foundation will be hosting a Mass and Communion Breakfast in memory of Heeran, a young local who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center and died on 9/11. The Mass will be held at 11:15 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Church to remember those who died on 9/11 and to honor Father Jim Cunningham, who is celebrating his 22nd anniversary as a priest. The Mass is open to all. A reception will follow at the school hall for $50 per person. The money will go toward the new Teen Club in the St. Francis de Sales Grammar School basement.

Sunday, September 10 will be a day to remember at the beach. The 13th Annual Richie Allen Memorial Surf Classic will honor Richie Allen, one of the many local firefighters who died on September 11, with a kids’ surf contest this Sunday at Beach 91st Street. The surf contest will be for boys 10 and under, 11 to 13, and 14 to 16, and girls 12 and under and 13 to 16. There will be fun for the whole family and non-surfers alike as there will also be boogie boarding and stand up paddle boarding, food, music, drinks, t-shirts, giveaways and a memorial paddle out. This event was started by Boarders Surf Shop and the friends and family of local hero, Richie Allen.

Some may want to pause and reflect at Tribute Park on the bayside of Beach 116th to remember 9/11. On Sunday, September 10, there will be a yoga class held in the park at 6:15 p.m.. A $10 donation is suggested to help the Friends of Tribute Park continue to maintain the park throughout the year. On Monday, September 11, Rockaway will remember with a formal ceremony starting at 8:30 a.m. The ceremony includes the reading of the names of the fallen Rockaway residents and the placing of roses around the memorial compass, plus live music featuring Chazmond Peacock and Steven Wagner on vocals, and Aerial Acoustics featuring Dorothy Wagner and Dennis Smith. This event is made possible by the Friends of Tribute Park, 1-800-Flowers and the DeMatteis family.

By Katie McFadden



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