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Tribute day: Locals pay tribute to fallen heroes at annual Wall of Remembrance celebration - Brooklyn Paper

Tribute day: Locals pay tribute to fallen heroes at annual Wall of Remembrance celebration

Wall hugger: Officer Eric Castagliloa received an award for his dedication the Wall of Remembrance at MCU Park at the structure’s annual celebration.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

They’ll never forget.

Moment of silence: Wall of Remembrance founder Sol Moglen, right, took in the festivities at the annual celebration.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Brooklynites gathered at the Wall of Remembrance at MCU Park in Coney Island over the weekend to pay tribute to the Big Apple’s fallen heroes at an annual mass and celebration. The tribute offers a space for the families of the first responders who died in 9/11 to celebrate their legacies, according to the founder of the wall.

All together now: Fire Department Chaplain Mosignor John Delendick and Police Department Chaplain Monsignor Robert Romano led an interfaith celebration and mass at the annual event.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

“There was no closure for the families, it was really sad, but the wall has given them closure,” said Sol Moglen. “The wall is a place where we can celebrate them, not mourn them.”

Moment of silence: Xiu Yan Li, left, and Wei Tang Liu, right, bowed their heads in a moment of remembrance for their son, the late police officer Wenjian Liu, who was killed on duty in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2014.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Fire Department chaplain Monsignor John Delendick and Police Department chaplain Monsignor Roman Romano presided over a Catholic mass at the wall — which is located outside of MCU Park, at W. 19th Street and Surf Ave. — and the family members and friends of the fallen mingled and honored their loved ones’ memories, Moglen said.

For the family: Family members of firefighters and police officers gathered at the Wall of Remembrance for the annual celebration at MCU Park over the weekend.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The former Brooklynite, who said he lived in Mill Basin for much of his life and served in the Army, started construction on the wall — which boasts the photos and names of more than 400 of the city’s first responders who died in the terror attacks — in 2002, and finished it up six years later, he said, adding that its $500,000 price tag was entirely paid for by private donations. The founder said the images of those who perished ensures that visitors to the wall will remember the brave people who died while trying to save others.

New York’s Bravest: Firefighters from across the city came out to the annual Wall of Remembrance celebration at MCU Park.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

“I felt we should do something not to forget them,” Moglen said. “I didn’t want just the name, I wanted faces.”

Moglen hosts three annual events at the structure, including one in the summer and a “Night Before” ceremony every September 10.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@schnepsmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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