UPPER MANHATTAN — As thousands gathered downtown to memorialize the tenth anniversary of those who died on 9/11, Northern Manhattan residents spent the day memorializing the anniversary more than 200 blocks north of the former World Trade Center.
Several events were held in honor of those who died on September 11, 2001, including memorials, masses and organized volunteer events for a day of service dedicated to the anniversary.
Early Sunday morning, police officers from the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights marked the anniversary of the deaths of 23 NYPD members who responded to the terror attacks that day. No officers from the precinct died that day.
First responders were not given admission to Sunday’s ceremony at the World Trade Center as city officials said there was not enough space to honor all.
Instead, individual precincts held their own commemoration events. Assemblyman Guillermo Linares and City Councilmen Robert Jackson and Ydanis Rodriguez attended.
Officers gathered outside the station house on Broadway and 184th Street to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to recognize the time when the first plane struck Tower 1.
A somber faced lieutenant read the names of the 23 NYPD officials who died that day, thanking the men and women who stood before them for their work continuing to represent the NYPD as those individuals did on 9/11.
“We honor them daily by protecting the city of New York,” he said.
For Washington Heights resident Debbie Hes, who attended the memorial event, the lingering effects of the loss of life is most tragic.
“When I think of all of the children who never got to know their parents, it makes you realize how deep the loss,” she said.
In Inwood, volunteers spent part of the afternoon at Muscota Public School on Broadway, between Academy and 204th streets, creating care packages for troops stationed in Afghanistan.
The event, organized by the local Everyday Church, heeded “President [Barack] Obama's call for service to honor the Sept. 11th attacks,” according to officials.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to honor and commemorate 9/11 than by coming together as a community to give back and be part of something bigger than ourselves,” said the church’s pastor, Chris Travis. “We hope that through this project, residents of upper Manhattan can draw closer together through service.”
Later in the afternoon, dozens also gathered to lay roses and trinkets on plaques inside the Good Shepherd Church’s 9/11 memorial garden, which features an iron cross recovered at Ground Zero alongside the church. A special mass was also held in honor of the anniversary.
The garden, at Broadway and Isham Street, honors the lives of 22 people who lived or worked in Inwood, many of whom worked for the FDNY or as emergency medical workers. The intersection has been named Inwood’s Heroes of 9/11 Way in their honor and wreaths from the Good Shepherd Men's Club hang at the corners of streets renamed in their honor throughout Inwood.
According to church officials, more plaques will soon be installed in the garden to honor the lives of two 9/11 victims whose families recently learned of the memorial garden.
On Sunday afternoon, several flags with the words Flags of Heroes and the names of all emergency personnel who died on 9/11 fluttered in the wind as passersby paid respects in the garden.
“I come here to pay my respects for the men I knew and all of the people I never had a chance to meet,” said Inwood resident Joe McKerny, 43, who said he regularly visits the memorial. “This place reminds me of all the good they did in this world.”