Infamy remembered • Brooklyn Paper

Infamy remembered

Solemn honor: Members of the armed forces salute after laying wreaths during a rendition of "God Bless America."
Photo by Steven Schnibbe

They haven’t forgotten, and they never will.

Patriots in Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton Army Base marked the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

The Fort Hamilton garrison held a special ceremony with a wreath-laying and a rifle salute. Garrison commander Col. Joseph Davidson addressed the crowd before three people who lost family members made remarks on the solemn occasion. For one survivor, it was her first public appearance on the anniversary since the tragedy.

Loaded with emotion: In the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, an Army honor guard prepares for a rifle salute to the fallen during Fort Hamilton's Sept. 11 memorial.
Photo by Steven Schnibbe

“For me it was a hard experience,” said Melissa Price Long, whose firefighter fiance died responding to the World Trade Center. “I usually spend [Sept. 11] pretty privately, but I felt strongly about speaking to the troops to thank them for their service.”

Long, who now lives in Virginia but journeyed back to the city to address the garrison, said that revisiting the horrifying day to write her speech was an emotional undertaking, but rewarding.

“It was really hard to write down what I felt. It was a big decision, but I’m so glad I did it.”

Flying free: Fort Hamilton commander Col. Joseph Davidson and state Sen. Marty Golden release yellow ballons commemorating the lives lost on 9-11 at the 69th Street Pier service.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Later in the day, state Sen. Martin Golden held his annual 9-11 tribute beneath “The Beacon” — a 20-foot bronze statue commemorating Brooklynites lost in the horrific attacks — at the American Veterans Memorial Pier at 69th Street and Shore Parkway.

Politicians left party rivalries at home on Thursday, and a slew of elected from both sides of the aisle came together at the memorial to remember the fallen. Mourners lit candles and National Guard members released a cluster of yellow balloons symbolizing the lost.

Many Ridgites watched the carnage unfold from Brooklyn’s shore, and the pier is inexorably linked with the attacks in their minds.

Reflecting on tragedy: Ft. Hamilton Garrison chaplain Maj. Eric Meyners says a prayer for the terror attack victims.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

“I was on the 69th Street Pier,” recalled Martin McQuade, who sang a tribute to New York at Hunters Steak and Ale House on Thursday evening. “I heard about it on the news, and once I heard second the plane struck, I knew it was a cataclysm, and rushed down to the pier and watched the towers collapse. There was a unified gasp and moan when the first tower fell. I just had to leave — I couldn’t take the sight.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeg‌er@cn‌gloca‌l.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.

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