Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Never Forget - "Angels' Circle," Staten Island

(all images - click on to enlarge)

This was the view of the Twin Towers, officially known as the World Trade Center, from New York Harbor.

They were a part of every New Yorker's view each day as they towered majestically over our city's skyline. Everyday that we now see the big hole in the sky, where they once stood, our hearts feel an incredible loss.

We can never forget how innocent men, women and children were going about their daily lives on September 11, 2001, going to work or going on a trip, in the Towers in Manhattan, in the Pentagon in Washington DC, and on four airplanes, and were killed in the cruelest attack the United States has ever encountered between its shores.

We can never forget the incredible bravery of the rescue workers who saved many lives that day, and then lost their own.

I will never forget the deep chill of fear for the lives of family members, both in New York and Washington DC, and being overcome with relief when I found they were all safe, and then crying a million tears afterwards as I listened to the terribly sad stories of friends, co-workers and strangers who lost someone that day.

I can never forget the long lines of dress blue uniforms and the cry of bagpipes as fireman after fireman's funeral were held in my neighborhood of Brooklyn, and in other neighborhoods in the city.

Ultimately I remember feeling incredibly proud of my city, my country, and much of the world, as many rallied with support and kindness, solidarity and strength, to help in any way possible, and to share our shock and grief.

This statue of Jesus holding the Twin Towers is in the churchyard of St. Ephrem's RC Church in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn , New York.
I have posted before about Ground Zero and The FDNY's Memorial Wall, and St Paul's Chapel that was across the street from the Twin Towers, and I've shown the Rescue Workers Memorial on the walls outside Brooklyn's Minor league team The Cyclones, Keyspan Park, but today I'd like to show you another 9/11 memorial, "Angels' Circle" in Staten Island, a borough of New York City.
Staten Island was one of the hardest hit communities on 9/11, losing nearly 270 loved ones in the terrorist attacks. While the borough has a beautiful official memorial that you can see here, I think this little traffic island that has evolved to become known as "Angels' Circle" is an even more powerful and poignant memorial to the members of that community that were lost on 9/11. Angels’ Circle, located on a traffic island at Fingerboard Road and Hylan Boulevard in the Grasmere neighborhood, memorializes the Staten Islanders who were killed during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The memorial’s creator and caretaker is Wendy Pellegrino and a local florist maintains the shrubs and flowers that surround the circle.

Photos of the victims are all lined up in rows of circles, each with a light that illuminates them at night.

This is what is inscribed on the base of the angel above.
After the tragic events of 9/11 many New Yorkers saw the faces of the thousands of missing posted everywhere on walls and hospitals in New York. When the sad realization became known that they were lost forever, they slowly came down. But in some areas of the city, such as this, those photos evolved to permanent memorials.

Young and old, civilian and rescue worker, male and female, mothers, fathers,husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, children, neighbors, co-workers, best friends, strangers .... all these smiling faces were lost that day. May they all rest in peace.

Many families visit, sit on the benches and leave mementos behind, birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated here in memory of the loved one.

The shrubs in the background of the photo below spell out "Angel's Circle."

For many families who never received remains to bury, it is like a cemetery that they can visit to honor and remember their loved one.

They are all angels now!

A beautiful short video about Angels' Circle, how it came about, and how it is maintained, can be viewed here .

Please say a prayer for all the lives lost that day.
May we never forget the horror of 9/11, but may we also make it a day to help make the world a kinder, more understanding, and tolerant place.


Anonymous said...

Hugs Pat.

Nihal said...

The world is hungry and thirsty for love. For a 'true' love.
Today you'll are within my prayers.


Lisa's RetroStyle said...

I don't think I can say it any better than Melanie...Hugs Pat.

Linda Lou said...

Thank you for the beautiful photos and for helping me to remember and never forget my fellow New Yorkers and Americans, God Bless!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

That was a beautiful tribute Pat!
Thank you!

Just A Girl said...

Hello Pat,
What a beautiful heart felt post.
Love, Cori

Judy said...

A beautiful tribute on this memorable day!

Alexandra MacVean said...

Thank you for your post today. My hubby and I are watching a special on the History channel right now. It's so heartbreaking to remember what happened and how many lives were taken. I pray that we all take a moment of silence today and remember and pray for all the families who lost loved ones and friends that day.

Anonymous said...

I was just cleaning up the kitchen and listening to the cable news replay the film of seven years ago today. I thought you were still out of town, but hoped you had planned something special on your blog for today. As I clicked on your blog address and it opened, my eyes filled with tears. I am aching right now as I type this to you. It was such a beautiful tribute, Pat, filled with such wonderful photos---of places I've never heard of. Places that are such an important part of remembering the people who were so crueling killed that day. Places for their families to heal a bit. Places for the rest of us who did not lose a family member or loved one, to also visit---we feel much sadness and helplessness and pain.
Thank you for such a moving post, Pat. Dana

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much, Pat. This is an amazingly beautiful tribute.

Tara said...

Hi Pat

This is such a sad day here in New York, I am not sure it gets any easier!


PS--so disappointed in the NY Times--911 in the Metro section!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Oh Pat,

This is so beautiful. I have never heard of this place before and it is lovely.

Like we spoke about yesterday, it all seems so unreal even all these years later.

I love that this little space has the photos of the people who became angels that day. Having photos reminds us that it was real and real people lost their life that day.

Words can not describe that day. Nothing can.

Big big hugs to you today.

Marg said...

Thanks for bring the reality back to us. It's a day nobody will forget.
I was on my way to work....

I had the privilege of seeing the sites that you talked about today.
Just standing there, walking through the church, looking at the scene, seeing the cross, and on and on....
You did a great job of captivating all of us today.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Beautiful post. I'm from Staten Island...I did not know of Angels' Circle but unfortunately do know some of the angels in it. Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

Hi Pat,
This is a beautiful brought tears to my eyes. There were so many brave people that was unreal watching it on tv from here.

I think the people of NYC were all heros that day and in the days following.

Hope you're having a wonderful trip...miss you!

Donna said...

Beautiful tribute, Pat.


Anonymous said...

There's a scar on the landscape where the towers once stood, and a hole in the sky where they used to stretch high.
There's a hole in my soul and a scar in my heart. Missing you more everyday since we've been torn apart.

A very hard day for so many, who will never stop grieving.

steviewren said...

"For many families who never received remains to bury, it is like a cemetery that they can visit to honor and remember their loved one."

Thanks Pat for telling me about this site. I won't forget.

Kathy said...

A beautiful tribute Pat, I join you in rememberence today, 11 of my collegues and friends were on the 91st floor of the North Tower, miracously they all survived, sadly many did not, miss you Pat, hugs, Kathy

Strider said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for honoring them today. We must never forget....not for the sake of being bitter, but to realize that we live in a violent world. 9/11 yearly ceremonies help us to remember those events and make sure we guard against future attacks. Thanks again.

Judy said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post. I dont' think we will ever forget that day or where we were and what we were doing.

Kathy said...

ps Pat, Thank you so very much, I am so touched by your thoughtfulness, big hugs, Kathy

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Thank you for sharing about the Angels' Circle. What a beautiful memorial! You can see that much love and time has been put into it. We will never forget. Life seemed to change after that day seven years ago for all of us.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

A beautiful tribute post...thank you.
Bless us all.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Dear Pat,
Angel's Circle. I never knew it existed til now... and it is now on the top of my list when I finally come to NYC.
A beautiful post from one who knows first hand what it's all about, our Pat. I'm so glad you and your loved ones were spared that day.
Thanks for sharing your heart and your city with us.
Big hugs and much love, Sherry & Wes

Elisa Day said...

A beutiful post, thank you for sharing

Junie Moon said...

Excellent post, Pat, and an important reminder of how that infamous day cost the lives of many and changed our country forever. Thank you for the link to the Angels' Circle, I'm going off now to view it.

Vee said...

I knew that your blog would offer a poignant tribute to those who lost their earthly lives that horrific day. New Yorkers are always in my prayers on September 11 because such a monumental burden was borne. This Memorial, Angels' Circle, seems so fitting and right. I pray, too, that the national memorial will come together soon.

Thank you, Pat.

kari and kijsa said...

Beautifully put and illustrated! A lovely memorial and remembrance!

We are celebrating our one year anniversary and wanted to thank you for being a special part of the past year!

kari & kijsa

Darius T. Williams said...

Hmmm - um, great pics. You're right - we'll never forget!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post.


Alexandra MacVean said...

Hi Pat. I hope you're doing well. I haven't heard from you in a few days. Wishing you a beautiful weekend!! :)


MJ Ornaments said...

Thank you for the post Pat. It means a lot to those of us who may never get to NY to see this amazing memorial.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

Pat, what a beautiful post for 9/11. I didn't know about Angels Circle. How sad for our country, how sad for the families of those who were lost that day. My prayers have been constant for all the losses so many have suffered.

Thanks for your beautiful post.


Naz said...

A beautiful tribute.

May their souls rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Pat. I am covered in chills and crying. What an incredible place.

This tragedy to our country will never be forgotten, and will forever forge our hearts.

Gina said...

I can only imagine how it must have close to home
You have done a beautiful post here. Hugs to you from across the ocean my friend, Gxox

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful and poignant memorial.

Alexandra MacVean said...

Hi Pat. I hope you're doing OK. May you have a great Monday! :)


Barb said...

Hi Pat,

Beautiful post. It still seems like a bad dream.

sonia a. mascaro said...

A beautiful tribute, Pat. All the World will never forget the horror of 9/11.
Many hugs to you.

Michelle said...

I will never forget..thanks for sharing the beautiful tributes to those of us who live elsewhere..


by Danie said...

Beautiful angels circle, they were in my thought on that day too.

Rue said...

This was a beautiful post Pat. I had no idea, but I should have known that you, of all people, would have posted even while you were gone on this very sad day.


Susie Q said...

There are no words...just tears. Thank youf or this Pat.


ladyluck3819 said...

this is so poignant! thanks for sharing

diane b said...

A lovely tribute to the angels of 9/11. It brought tears to my eyes. Yes we remember it on the other side of the world.