On Saturday, May 17, at 11 a.m., friends and family will gather to replant the saplings near Schley Avenue in Ferry Point Park in remembrance of their fallen loved ones.
Vandals defaced the Bronx’ living memorial in January by removing 15 black birch trees from their coveted grove.
Dorothy Poggi, of the Friends of Ferry Point Park, later found two of the trees in a wooded area near the site.
“Somebody must have heard we planted them, and pulled them up out of spite,” Poggi speculated, adding that the initial problems first occurred last November, when five of the trees, labeled as memorials for 9/11 victims, were ripped from the ground shortly after planting began.
When they all disappeared in January, Poggi immediately started working with the Parks Department, and scheduled the replanting to coincide with “It’s My Park Day,” an annual park event, which will take place Saturday, May 17.
Volunteering teens will join the celebration while helping maintain the park’s bucolic nature.
Despite the fanfare of the day, Poggi said the family members of one 9/11 victim, along with community supporters, will participate in a quiet replanting.
Poggi invited the Lynch’s, a Throggs Neck family who lost firefighter Michael Lynch on 9/11, to the planting, as well as other local families who lost a loved one in the tragic event.
“The Lynches thought it was a good idea to publicize the theft, as it would likely prevent future vandalism at the site,” Poggi said.
Poggi said though many community members saw the theft as a heinous act, they are not seeking retribution.
“In my opinion, whoever did this will not benefit from being caught by authorities,” Poggi noted. “I think they need to be made to feel embarrassed, and if they feel embarrassed they may not do it again.”