Hundreds of somber Brooklynites attended memorial services held across the borough, paying tribute to the men, women, and loved ones who perished in the attacks on 9-11.
“It was just wonderful, difficult, but uplifting at the same time. We were just so glad to be a part of it,” said Evelyn Zelmanoitz, who attended a ceremony in Bill Brown Memorial Playground in Sheepshead Bay with her husband, Jack.
Jack’s brother, Abe, was among those who’s life was extinguished amongst the rubble of the twin towers.
Abe, who worked on the 27th floor of the North Tower, had refused to leave the side of his quadriplegic colleague and friend, Ed Beyea, staying with him even after firefighters arrived and asked him to evacuate.
Beyea, Abe, and Captain Billy Burke of ladder 21 perished together at 10:28 am, on Sept. 11, 2001, with the collapse of the North Tower.
His story and the tales of other heroes were retold in song, poem, and anecdote throughout the borough Tuesday night, in Marine Park, at the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge, and at numerous other services held across Kings County.
The remembrance was mingled with speeches made by politicians, including Marty Golden and Helein Weinstein, who spoke in Marine Park.
But their words didn’t quite hit that high note, which was only achieved through prayer and the testimony of men and women who lost loved ones that day, 11 years ago.
For Robert Cox, who attend the Marine Park ceremony with his daughter Jacqueline, Rabbi Avraham Zucker’s opening prayer and the speech made by Captain John Rowell of the 63rd Precinct, who lost family in the attacks, were the evening’s highlights.
“The rabbi quoted scripture, I can’t remember exactly what he said, but politicians get up there and read speeches, they do it all the time and it seemed routine, but you could tell the rabbi spoke from his heart,” Cox said.
“The captain from the 63, he couldn’t even get through his speech he was so choked up,” Cox added. “Those were the most emotional.”
Reach reporter Colin MIxson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.