Tribute Stars To Shine In New Bayfront Park
In collaboration with the Uniformed Firefighters Association and the Uniformed Fire Officers Associaion, the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways has announced the inclusion of a separate installation in the new Tribute Park that will pay tribute to all of the New York City Firefighters who perished on September 11, 2001.
"This gift is a most welcome one," says John Lepore, Chamber President. "So many firefighters were lost from the Rockaways, that it is particularly meaningful to be able to include this tribute to them and to their fellow firefighters."
The installation of the FDNY tribute will be located at the point of Tribute Park nearby Jamaica Bay, directly in front of the flagpole. It will list all 343 FDNY members, the 3 WTC Fire Safety Officers (NYFD Retired) and the one Fire Patrol member who died at The World Trade Center on that September 11.
Rank and company affiliation will be listed next to the names. The 347 names will be placed on a large granite boulder approximately 5 feet high, 5 feet deep and 7 feet wide.
On the front top of the boulder, a FDNY helmet will be carved (approximately 25 percent larger than actual size). The front surface of the boulder will be shaved flat with a polished surface into which the names will be sandblasted or carved. The words "We Will Never Forget" and a Maltese Cross will appear below the list of names. The words "Gift of Uniformed Firefighters Assn. and Uniformed Fire Officers Assn." will also be noted on the monument.
Those fallen firefighters with a connection to Rockaway will be noted twice in the Tribute Park. Those names will also be included in Patrick Clark's dome tribute.
"All those who perished from the Rockaways will be listed in the dome as a group because, first and foremost, they were our friends and families," explains Liz Sulik, the Chamber's Executive Director. "Although we are aware of the varying opinions over certain issues in Manhattan, we haven't experienced any of the same controversies. This entire planning process is a very personal one to the Rockaways and has involved our entire community from the beginning. We have repeatedly invited all residents to participate," she said.
Clark, whose design won a community-based competition last year, agrees with Sulik.
"Each of those Rockaway residents who died at the World Trade Center will have his or her name engraved in a star set in the glass dome," Clark said. "The firefighters will be delineated with the letters 'FF' for firefighter or with their rank in the department."
Clark made it clear that the names on the dome are in no way connected with those on the FDNY tribute.
"They are completely separate entities," he said.
Anyone who wishes to review the plans for the park and get involved in the park is invited to do so simply by calling the Chamber of Commerce office.
Clark, angered that some in the community have questioned his design and the way the names would be inscribed, told The Wave that he would be glad to meet with anybody who has such concerns.
Clark's studio is at 117-07 Beach Channel Drive and his phone number is 718-634-3397.
"Tell people to call before they come," he said. "I am usually at the studio in the evenings and on weekends."
No date has yet been set for the completion of the tribute.