Sept. 12, 2012 By Bill Parry
Hundreds gathered at Doughboy Park at 56th St. and 39th Dr. to take part in a candlelight vigil to honor the fallen on 9/11.
Ed Bergendahl of the Woodside Civic Association put the event together for the second year in a row. “It’s nice to see the community come out in memory of all those lost and the families that were affected,” he said. “I just wish there were more firefighters here, but I’m sure they had a very busy time downtown.”
As Bergendahl finished his thought, two fire trucks from Engine 325, Ladder 163 in Woodside pulled up at the edge of the park, and over a dozen of New York’s Bravest entered to take their seats in the first two rows for the ceremony. “Some of us were downtown and others were working,” said FF Mike Rogdakis of Syosset, Long Island, “We didn’t want to miss this.”
Woodside has a very deep connection to the events of 9/11, as Bergendahl pointed out during his speech: “Our zip code has the largest representation of those that died that day, just like during the Vietnam War.”
An inspection of the plaque on the plaza’s west wall shows that 34 people who worked or lived in Woodside died that morning 11 years ago, including Fire Marshal Ron Bucca, the only Marshal in the FDNY to die in the line of duty. Family members and friends laid flowers and lit candles as the names of the dead were read by local dignitaries.
Adrian Bordoni of Woodside on the Move and City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer both spoke and were instrumental in preparing the park in time for the ceremony.
Ed Bergandahl used the event as a lesson for the young people in the crowd. The Korean War veteran said “When you thank someone for serving it’s not just to a member of the military. Anyone that does something for the community is serving.”