One of the annual 9/11 memorial services in Throggs Neck is coming to an end after this year, but for all the right reasons, its organizers believe.
Starting with the first anniversary of 9/11 in 2002, the First Lutheran Church of Throggs Neck on 3075 Baisley Avenue and the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association put together their own memorial service to remember and honor the nearly 3,000 people who lost perished in the terrorist attacks.
The service, which takes place on the night of September 11th every year, will be ending this year as local residents and elected officials honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
WLCA member Mary Jane Musano, who helps assemble many projects throughout the year with the church, said this service has been a great, if not the best, experience that they have been able to put together.
However, after last year’s ceremony, she, Debbie Burke, and other members of the church officially decided that this year’s 10th anniversary will be its best yet, but also its last.
“Over the years, we always have had a large number of neighbors join us for the service and it has always been somber. This year, we want to try and make it more uplifting,” Musano said. “Being that it is our tenth remembrance ceremony, it will be our final one because we feel that the only way we can ever heal from the tragic event is to remember those who lost their lives in a more positive way.”
Musano knows that the events of 9/11 were indeed tragic and one of the worst days in our nation’s history, but she believes that if we continue to remember it in a sad way, we as a country will never heal.
As every year, the service will have prayers, readings, candle lighting, and singing. This year, Musano decided that more uplifting songs will be sung, including “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson, which will be performed by the children’s choir of the First Lutheran Church.
Over the years, Musano said the attendance has decreased, and many believe it is because the ceremony has been very sad and emotional. The organizers are hoping to gather their largest crowd ever this year to not only continue to remember those who died, but to honor and celebrate them.
“Of course we will never forget what happened, but we all feel that it is time to show that have healed and we are stronger,” Musano said. “The children are our future and we want them to sing uplifting songs so that not only will they never forget 9/11, but use it as a way to show that we are all proud to be American.”
Musano said that although the service will no longer be held annually, WLCA and the First Lutheran Church are hoping to have a service every five years. On September 11th after this year, however, Musano said they will continue to engage in volunteer work with the community, and a memorial tree is currently in the works to be planted for next year’s anniversary.
The First Lutheran Church of Throggs Neck will be holding their final 9/11 service on Sunday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m.
©2011 Community News Group