Both the mass and unveiling ceremony were held at the school, located at 26-20 Francis Lewis Blvd. in Flushing. Members of NYC’s first responder’s attended in uniform, some of which were Holy Cross alumni, along with families of the former Knights who passed on 9/11 and community members.
Father Walter Jenkins, president of Holy Cross, welcomed groups who had lost loved ones on the day of the tragedy. His homily for the mass discussed the importance of loving and forgiving your enemies.
“I had to come here to ask these people who lost so much to do what the Gospel asks us to do,” said Jenkins. “And that’s pretty bold. But if we can love those who wronged us, then in the end, those we’ve lost are honored not by revenge.”
Following the Mass, a dedication ceremony and blessing of the new 9/11 memorial was held. Family members of the Holy Cross community who had lost a family member or friend read the names of those who died.
“Holy Cross graduates span six decades, and many of us are privileged to be able to return to school,” said Vincent Paladino, Class of '85. “But some of our alumni are unable to do so because 9/11 shortened their lives. This memorial serves to remember them. Although they can’t return, they will always be remembered here.”
FDNY Chief Edward Kilduff also addressed those at the ceremony, particularly students.
“That monument will cause you to remember every day the sacrifices made by those who sat in those seats before you,” Kilduff said. “Go out and be the kind of people that they were—good, thriving, community-minded Christian people.”
The memorial is located at the corner of 29th Avenue and 170th Street and is composed of black granite with the names of those who passed etched in gold. The monument is the result of an effort conceived by Holy Cross’s Golf Classic Committee, which raises money annually to support the Alumni Scholarship Fund at the school.