Category Archives: East Meadow

To Light a Candle… 9/11

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry  (ann-parry.com)
September 11, 2017

  • On each anniversary of September 11, 2011, but not only on each anniversary, I remember the events of that day and how they’ve changed our world.

On Sept. 11, 2001, we were a week or so into the new school year at Grand Avenue Middle School in Bellmore, Long Island. Except for our class computers suddenly losing internet access early that morning, it began as an ordinary Tuesday.

Sept. 11, 2012 - Merrick, New York, U.S. - LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, and KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, helping place 500 Luminary Bags (votive candle in each bag will be lit at dark) in front of 215 Wenshaw Park homes, on 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association (WPCA), Long Island, with over $500 already raised for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (Ann Parry/-)

Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2012.  LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, and KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, help place 500 luminary bags (votive candle in each bag will be lit at dark) in front of 215 Wenshaw Park homes, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association, Long Island, to raise funds for Twin Towers Orphan Fund.  (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Then, as students passed from one class to another, a few of my writing students came in announcing news they’d heard on the radio in art class: “Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers!”

“What?!” I said. “Well… one plane might have that sort of accident, but not two – the same day. Someone must’ve heard the info wrong.”

But, over the loudspeaker later that morning, our principal, Fino Celano, gave us the news – calmly, solemnly – of the terrorist attacks on Manhattan’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon… then the plane crash in the Pennsylvania field. No one had heard the info wrong.

Fund raiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. Rep. Pete King shown with Ray Pfeifer and the firefighter's wife CARYN, daughter TAYLOR, and son TERRENCE. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

East Meadow, NY, USA. March 31, 2012. At fundraiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer – battling cancer after months of recovery efforts at Ground Zero following 9/11 2001 Twin Towers attack – are, L-R, in front row: son TERRENCE, daughter TAYLOR , wife CARYN, and, in back row: RAY PFEIFER, and Congressman PETE KING, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall.  (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When I got home from school that afternoon, the tile floors our construction workers had ripped up from the kitchen and surrounding rooms the day before were more scattered than stacked. We were replacing our radiant in-floor heating, and the ground floor looked “like a bomb went off” – though I felt guilty even having that thought.

So the night of September 11, 2001, my husband Len, my older daughter Sue and I ate dinner at a local cafe.

Throughout the meal we watched the news coverage of the attacks on the TV up in the corner, and whispered “Nightmare… surreal… oh my god….”

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 17, 2009. FDNY firefighter LUKE ALLEN wears in his hat a card with photo of his older brother firefighter RICHARD D. ALLEN, one of 343 FDNY firefighters killed responding to terrorist attacks on Twin Towers 9/11. (© 2009 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 17, 2009. Marching in St. Patrick’s Day Parade, FDNY firefighter LUKE ALLEN displays on his hat a photo of his older brother firefighter RICHARD D. ALLEN, one of 343 FDNY firefighters killed responding to terrorist attacks on Twin Towers Sept. 11, 2001. (© 2009 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

My younger daughter Laurie was at college in Westchester. During one of our calls later that week, I told her I wanted to get her a cell phone, especially because of her trips between college and home.

Though she didn’t think she needed one, by the end of the call she understood that her mom really needed her to have one.

Removing American Flag to reveal monument made with steel from World Trade Center, at the Merrick Post #1282 American Legion Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 ceremony, are (left to right) Rabbi Paul Kirchner, Father Eric Fasano, Adjutant Robert Tom Riordan PCC, and North Merrick Fire Dept. Ex. Chief Henry Hinrichs, at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park, Merrick, New York, USA, on September 11, 2011.(Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2011. Removing American Flag to reveal monument made with steel from World Trade Center, at Merrick Post #1282 American Legion 10th Anniversary of 9/11 ceremony, are (L-R) Rabbi PAUL KIRCHNER; Father ERIC FASANO; Adjutant ROBERT TOM RIORDAN, PCC; and North Merrick Fire Dept. Ex. Chief HENRY HINRICHS at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park.  (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Our neighbors across the street lost their son who worked in the Twin Towers.

A Grand Avenue coworker lost her first responder firefighter husband, and two of our students lost their fathers.

During lunch period, a fellow teacher told us how ever since 9/11 he was having nightmares about being trapped underground.

And American flags multiplied everywhere, and so did patience and kindness. I didn’t notice a car horn honking for at least a year.

And we also had color-coded terrorism threat advisories….

Manhattan, NY, USA - January 9, 2012: Movie poster

Manhattan, NY, USA.  January 9, 2012. Movie poster EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE is displayed lit at night over Penn Station subway entrance with Empire State Building in background. Fictional movie is set at time of 9/11 terrorist attacks on Twin Towers in NYC. (© 2012 Ann E Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Since 2001 our country and many others continue to have terror threat alerts — for events, buildings, airlines & metros, cities…. 

And I do feel a bit reckless, a tiny bit brave, heading to Manhattan when a terror alert’s been issued.

North Bellmore Fire Department 9/11 remembrance ceremony and unveiling of two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center added to the existing 9/11 monument, 1500 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore, New York, USA, on September 10, 2011. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. Sept. 10, 2011. North Bellmore Fire Department 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and unveiling of two pieces of steel from World Trade Center added to existing 9/11 monument. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

My young grandson and younger granddaughter, along with all children, can only imagine the world before 2001 through images and stories that grow older as they do.

And I can barely begin to imagine the feelings and pain of those killed, injured, struck with cancer, and of those who lost loved ones, due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

But with gratitude to the first responders and other 9/11 heroes, and with hope, I will never forget. 

– Ann

click to view slideshow:   9/11 Over the Years

East Meadow, New York, USA. Summer 2017. Four birds fly over Twin Towers sculpture monument at Eisenhower Park 9/11 Monument section. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

East Meadow, NY, USA. Sept. 10, 2017. Four birds fly over Twin Towers steel sculpture at Eisenhower Park 9/11 Monument. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb

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U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade 2017

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 31, 2016

Yesterday, I read the exciting news that Long Island’s own Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums will participate in the Inauguration Parade on January 20, 2017.

Originally known as “Fir Na Tine” (Gaelic: Men of Fire), it’s America’s first Volunteer Firefighter Pipe Band, and has performed widely, including at St. Patrick’s Day parades, at halftime shows for NY Jets, and band members were the 11 Pipers Piping in a Christmas commercial.

Fundraiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer - battling cancer after months of recovery efforts at Ground Zero following 9/11 2001 Twin Towers attack - draws supporters from New York, Massachusetts and more, on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performed. [NOTE: Background tent color altered digitally to blue] (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

East Meadow, NY, USA. March 31, 2012. Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums band performs at firefighter Ray Pfeifer Benefit. [NOTE: tent digitally altered blue] (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Also, Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums has been an inspiring, stirring part of many memorials and benefits. In spring 2012, I covered the band when it played at the Ray Pfeifer Benefit at the East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall. Retired FDNY firefighter and Hicksville resident Ray Pfeifer is a true profile in courage, perseverance, and brotherhood.

FYI From Long Island: After the 9/11/2001 Twin Towers terrorist attacks, Pfeifer helped recovery efforts at Ground Zero, and by 2008 was battling cancer. Pfeifer – along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Representatives Peter King and Carolyn Maloney, and others – helped make sure the 2010 James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act was eventually extended to 2090.

Fund raiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performed. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

East Meadow, New York, USA. March 31, 2012. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performing at Ray Pfeifer Benefit. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When the Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums Band participates in the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington DC in a few weeks, it will be continuing its mission of proudly representing the Nassau County Fire Service.

To help the band reach its $10,000 goal to cover transportation & lodging costs for its 40+ members, the band manager created and runs a gofundme fundraiser: “Presidential Inauguration Parade” for the Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums. To visit its fundraiser page: https://www.gofundme.com/js9n5w

  • Photo Video of Ray Pfeifer Fundraiser, with Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums music:


Thank you to Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums, esp. Band Manager Alan Jacoby, for permission to use their music in above photo video of 2012 Firefighter Ray Pfeifer Benefit.

  • UPDATE 1/18/2107:  $17K+ of revised $20K goal has been raised at gofundme

slideshow: Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums

slideshow: Firefighter  Ray Pfeifer Benefit

band’s official site: Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums

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