2007-09-21 / Letters

Cheated At Gateway

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter regarding the events that took place over the past weekend (September 8-9) at Gateway's Floyd Bennett Field.

I have waited until today to do this since I did not want my terrible experience to interfere with what this time of year is significant of, to me and the MAJORITY of Americans. Six years ago our community along with many others suffered an enormous loss. Since then we have dedicated beautiful memorials and we acknowledge our loss with every opportunity given us. It is because of this that I, along with many in Rockaway, are so outraged at last week's air show.

While driving down Flatbush Avenue I noticed a field of AMERICAN flags. It was because of this display that I drove into the Floyd Bennett Air Show. I was very disappointed that there were no indicators on the grounds what was the significance of the flags and how to get to them. I listened for an announcement but the only information I heard was from a gentleman (said with some reservation) directing me to where I could buy souvenirs and hot dogs. It was only because of perseverance that I was able to locate someone to help me and sorry to say that someone was not Floyd Bennett staff.

When I finally arrived at the sight I cannot begin to describe the feeling that swept over me. Not only was I there Friday; I returned Sunday. On Tuesday, through the rain, I witnessed the calling of the names. I also returned on Wednesday for the morning ceremonies, which included a benediction. Had it not been for this group of fine young men and women I could not have participated in such formal 9/11 ceremonies. I could not endure the traveling going into the city would require.

My point is this. Why was an event as significant as this not given the attention it deserved? Because of the poor insight of the coordinators of the event, many others in the same position as I were CHEATED of an opportunity to express their loss and their respect for the victims, both civilian and otherwise.

If this was a political attempt to appease those who believe that these types of events should end, let me just say this. "If this is how you feel we don't want you there anyway. You're lazy, stupid, and self-centered. But for GODS sake leave us alone in our grief. Stay home who cares!" And if it was one of these type of politically correct people who ran this event on federal property that belongs to the PEOPLE be aware the majority of the PEOPLE would rather have the 9/11 Healing Field then the Air show. If those who promote the show want THAT particular weekend and want to use federal property for financial gains then a requirement to support the healing field should be made part of their contract.

The prime property that is part of Gateway was not given to the federal government just so individuals can "make a buck". It was given in the hopes that there would be community events that served the community, including its spiritual needs. And as is obvious, this one fell VERY short of reaching that goal.

I have written to my federal government representative & I encourage all who read this to do the same.


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