The Brooklyn/Bedford Park Memorial Committee – 9/11/03

The Flag of Heroes was sent to all fire houses and police stations throughout the country with thanks from the creators of these flags. It honors all of the rescue workers who were killed on September 11, 2001.

This flag, created and presented by our government, was given to the families of all the victims of September 11, 2001. Symbolically, it shows the towers, the Pentagon, where the planes hit and where the plane went down in the field in Pennsylvania.

Ray speaks to the crowd and tells them where he was on September 11, 2001 and why he had to create the Wall of Honor.

John P. Schnell (a.k.a. Jackie) is a soldier in the 3rd Infantry Division of the United States Army. He has served since January 2, 2002. First he was stationed in Afghanistan, then Kuwait. He has received a Purple Heart and was also given the Army Commendation of Valor and Bronze Star for bravery. John is 23 years old and is now in Baghdad, but he’s still searching for Osama Bin Laden. We thank John and his friends for being with us on this day. Must most of all, we thank John for giving us the opportunity to honor him – and those he has served with. God Bless You.

On September 11th, Oksana Petrova was preparing for a meeting at 4 World Trade Center. When the first plane hit, she left and ran across the street to the Deutsche Bank building. She managed to escape physical harm, but her heartache was about to begin. In December 2001, her son Dmitri, a serviceman in the US Army was deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda. He served there until May 2002. She was so thankful to have her son home safely. Her happiness however was short-lived. On March 11, 2003, while on a training exercise in upstate New York, a Blackhawk helicopter with thirteen service people crashed, killing eleven. The next morning Oksana got the phone call. Dmitri was one of the two survivors. She left that morning and spent a month and a half at Dmitri’s bedside, barely sleeping, nursing him and willing his recovery. Dmitri did not think he deserved to be honored because he was only doing his job. Well, we disagree. To us, he and all members of the Armed Forces are heroes. We thank all of you for defending us, and you, especially Dmitri, for your sacrifice. Further, we honor all your friends lost that day. Our prayers are with you for a complete recovery. Oksana represents not only those who survived the attack, but the parents of every service person in the United States Armed Forces. To us, you are example of someone with courage, strength and determination.

John Sorrentino, a firefighter from Engine Company 205 Ladder Company 118 accepted a flag in honor of Ladder Company 118. The company from Brooklyn Heights lost all six men on September 11, 2001. The last picture of them was the truck speeding across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Trade Center – and to their deaths.

Eoman Meehan is a firefighter from Warwick, New York, formerly from New York City. After the events of September 11th, he went to Engine Company 276 in Brooklyn to organize firefighters breaking them up into teams of ten and sending them to the World Trade Center. He did this for months. When he wasn’t organizing firefighters, he was organizing trucks with supplies needed for the site. This man is an angel in disguise and we were proud to present him with a Flag of Honor.

In addition to those who were able to attend our memorial, we presented Flags of Honor to additional fire houses and people who, without their assistance, we never could have had this year’s memorial.

Linda and Tina present a Flag of Honor to Russ D’Antonio of Bassett Catering who, for the last two years, have provided refreshments for our memorials. Russ plans to have the flag framed and mounted in the store.

Special thanks to our local newspaper, The Bay News, for advertising our memorial for the last two years and following up with wonderful coverage after it was over.

Linda and Tina present a Flag of Honor to Engine Company 254 Ladder Company 153 on Avenue U and Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn. The guys were unable to make it that night, so we came to them.

Engine Company 246 – Ladder Company 169 on Banner Avenue, Brooklyn proudly display the flag presented to them at the memorial.

The guys from Engine Company 276 Ladder Company 156 from Brooklyn proudly display the flag presented to them on September 11, 2003.

On September 11, 2001, the fire house located across the street from the World Trade Center was destroyed from the attacks. Ladder Company 10 reopened recently and we hope to meet all the members soon. John, who was assigned to the house the day I was there, accepted the flag on behalf of his brothers.

On September 11, 2001, two French videographers were filming a day in the life of a “probie” firefighter from Ladder Company 1. It became the documentary seen on television soon after the only live documentary of 9/11. Hector Morisi and Rob Carbone accepted the Flag of Honor on behalf of their brothers in the house. We look forward to meeting all of them someday.

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