Remembering the lost lives on September 11th in Great Neck

Remembering the lost lives on September 11th in Great Neck

With this year marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, a number of ceremonies on the Great Neck peninsula will honor those who lost their lives.
The Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department will hold a ceremony at Jonathan L. Ielpi Firefighters’ Park on the morning of Sept. 11.
Department Chief Josh Forst said the firefighters will meet at the firehouse, located at 83 Cutter Mill Road, around 8 a.m. to “lower the flag” and hold a short ceremony before heading  to the park.
The site of the ceremony has historic and personal significance to the fire company.
Ielpi was a New York City firefighter, Vigilant fire company assistant chief and graduate of Great Neck North High School who died responding to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The park includes a statue of Ielpi and is dedicated to the victims of the attacks.
Forst said the ceremony is typically attended by current and former firefighters, members of the Ielpi family and members of the public.
He said the 15th anniversary of the attacks is a “huge deal” and now a big part of the process is ensuring that those who were either not born or very young at the time understand the significance of the day.
“Now, being a father, it’s about making sure my children and the next generation on some level understand what happened,” Forst said. “I think that’s a big deal to make sure that the next generation doesn’t forget what happened on Sept. 11.”
While the day means different things to different people, he said, it has a lot of personal significance to him.
Forst said Ielpi was one of his closest friends and that he tries to spend time with his family as much as he can on Sept. 11.
He also said that the day was important to remember other Great Neck residents who lost their lives in the attacks.
“One thing we’ve always done is to make sure we mention other Great Neck residents,” Forst said. “Their only crime, like Jon’s, was going to work that day.”
Temple Israel will  hold a prayer service at the 9-11 Memorial Bridge in Saddle Rock.
The service, which is expected to last about 45 minutes, will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Former U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman will be the featured speaker.
Those interested in attending can meet at the temple, located at 108 Old Mill Road, at 6:30 p.m., where the group will walk over to the bridge with Nassau County police escorts. There will be parking available by the bridge for those who would prefer to meet there.
“It is important that we remember this tragedy,” said Marc Katz, a former Temple Israel Men’s Club president and the chair of the event. “And, what more fitting way to remember Sept. 11 than with prayers said along with members of the congregation and community. I urge everyone to attend this service and bring family, friends and neighbors.”
The Town of North Hempstead will hold its annual 9/11 memorial service honoring the 56 town residents who died in the attacks at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at Mary Jane Daives Green, located across from Town Hall on Plandome Road in Manhasset.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano will host a sunset memorial service at the county’s 9/11 Memorial in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8. The names of county residents who died in the attacks will be read by family members.

By Joe Nikic

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