Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #439
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

9/11 remembered at 13th Precinct ceremony 


Photo by Alex Nguyen 
13th Precinct Police salute and observe a moment of silence at 8:46am at the annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony in front of the precinct.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel   

Police officers of the 13th Precinct and Emergency Service Unit Truck 1, along with members of the community, gathered in front of the precinct's stationhouse on Wednesday to commemorate the twelfth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.


Current and past officers observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims at 8:46 a.m., which is the time that the first plane hit the north tower. The precinct's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, paid special tribute to three of the precinct's own that were lost in the attack, Officers Robert Fazio, Moira Smith and Brian McDonnell. Monsignor Leslie Ivers of Epiphany Church, Rev. Jacob Smith of Calvary-St. George's Church, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch and Manhattan South Trustee of PBA John Flynn also spoke at the ceremony.


ESU Detective John McKenna said that it helps him and his fellow officers emotionally to gather for the event. "A lot of our own guys had a hard time dealing with it and I think the guys who are farther away now who can't come back seem to have had a harder time," he said. "It brings the community together, especially with (Gramercy Park Block Association President) Arlene Harrison, who's always around to support us."


Harrison, along with the GPBA, was around 24/7 to support the officers following the attacks. She and the GPBA volunteers served thousands of meals to the units at the precinct for eight and a half months after the tragedy.   


"It was an emotional time then and its still an emotional time now. We were there to be the face of humanity when they came back from the rubble at the World Trade Center," she said. "This Precinct lost three officers, more than any of the other Precincts.  Also, Emergency Services lost 14 officers that day. This was the Ground Zero for the police and other emergency personnel and we were honored to do it. Everybody was so grateful to be able to help."


John Lambkin, who led the precinct's Emergency Service Unit on September 11, retired the year following the tragedy but he continues to come back to reconnect with his friends and old colleagues at the precinct. "It's a tradition not just between cops but also with the community," he said. "They talk about 'never forget' in reference to 9/11, so we're trying to keep that promise."


"We have a permanent bond with these officers and we will continue to be here for them as long as they're here," Harrison said. "They are our family. When you talk about good over evil, this is the good. At the time we were determined to make sure it endured, and both the officers and the community have kept that promise."


This article has been edited from its original version.


Photo by William Baker, Courtesy of the NYCPBA 
Emergency Service Truck #1 Detectives, Police Officers and ESU retirees with GPBA President Arlene Harrison. 

Each year, the GPBA helps sponsor a Remembrance Breakfast for the Emergency Service Truck #1 Officers, most of whom served around the clock at the World Trade Center for the eight and a half months following 9/11. The breakfast is organized by GPBA Board member Kathleen Scupp.  
Photo by Alex Nguyen
ESU Det. Jimmy Moran, Arlene Harrison, Calvary-St. George's Rev. Jacob Smith, Epiphany Church Msgr. Leslie Ivers, ESU Det. Ryan Norman and ESU P.O. Robert Sivori in front of the 13th Precinct Remembrance Garden.

Following 9/11, the GPBA planted the Garden, which they now maintain throughout the year.  The plaque on the Garden reads "NYPD YOU MAKE US PROUD. - The Gramercy Park Block Association."    

Photo by Alex Nguyen
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch addresses the crowd at the ceremony. 

Photo by Alex Nguyen
Arlene Harrison,  Maialino Restaurant Managing Partner Terry Coughlin, Msgr. Leslie Ivers, and Rev. Jacob Smith

Each year, Coughlin, whose uncle ESU Sgt. John Coughlin died at the World Trade Center, delivers pastries from Danny Meyer's Maialino Restaurant to the ESU Remembrance Breakfast.    

Photo by Alex Nguyen
13th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg speaks at the ceremony.
Photo by Alex Nguyen
"Emergency Service Squad #1 - A Christmas Grove - 9/11/01" planted in Gramercy Park.