2001-09-22 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Wave is collecting vignettes by people who were affected by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center last week. If you were at Ground Zero, if you had to walk out of Manhattan to get back to Rockaway, if you want to talk about somebody who did not make it out, please send a short account to us at editor@rockawave.com or by snail mail to 88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. We plan to publish as many of these as we can over the next few weeks.

Memorials to the victims trapped in the World Trade Center and their families continue to spring up all over the peninsula. By all accounts, approximately 75 Rockaway residents are missing and presumed dead on the terrorist attack.

One of the firefighters who was at Ground Zero when the second tower came down told us that the force of the tower hitting the ground was so great that it picked up a piece of fire apparatus weighing at least two tons and moved it thirty feet.

The Rockaway Music and Arts Council will hold its annual Fall Festival this year, but much of the festival will be dedicated to those who lost their lives and their families. In addition, there will be a candlelight memorial ceremony on Sunday evening, after the festival officially ends.

Four members of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, all of whom were trapped in the collapse of the second tower, will be the guests of Jenny Jones on her show that was taped last Thursday. As soon as we get an airdate for the program, we will publish the date and time. The four men had parked their ambulance on Liberty and Rector Streets, under the overpass that we see so often on television these days. They were scheduled to be the next into the building when it collapsed, crushing their ambulance and sending them to New Jersey for treatment.

The meeting that was scheduled for the Beach Club on Monday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. to address the work on the old LILCO site should know that the meeting has been cancelled due to last week’s tragedy. Work on the site has been halted for two weeks pending this meeting and the community’s input into the project. According to a spokesperson for the Long Island power Authority (LIPA), the meeting was cancelled to give residents a chance to mourn and regroup. It will be rescheduled at a later date.

The primary election that began on September 11 will finally end on September 25. The election has been rescheduled to that date. Those who voted prior to the suspension of the election will have to vote again. You’ll remember that the election was suspended in late morning due to the attack on the World Trade Center. Should a runoff be necessary for any of the citywide races, it will be held on October 11. The Wave urges everybody to get out and vote. Despite the fact that the election seems to be of secondary importance now, the attack made it clear that leadership is important in this city.

While The Wave would like to memorialize the Rockaway residents who were lost or who remain unaccounted for in the rubble of the World Trade Center, it is our decision that we will not print any names until the family or a public authority verifies the facts. We do this to protect the living as well as the memory of those who died. We have found that it is much too soon for loved ones and for local volunteer groups to speak about this with the press, and we respect that right.

We were on Long Island last weekend, shopping in Garden City, when the local volunteer fire department’s alarms blared the fact that there was a small fire in the community. At the same time a commercial jetliner passed over. Many people in a store’s parking lot heard the siren, saw the plane, and ran for the cover of the nearby store. We guess that it will take some time before people do not associate an airliner with death and destruction rather than with a nice vacation in a warm clime.

There has been such an outpouring of national patriotism throughout the country that many have been moved to tears. Unfortunately, there are those who have no sympathy for the plights of others and commit despicable acts. After hanging "Old Glory" along the bayside of 116 Street, someone stole it shortly after. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact local law enforcement.


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