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In some Queens neighborhoods, paying tribute to those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, can be as simple as driving down the street that bears one of their names.
On Sunday, City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and a motorcade of police, U.S. Coast Guard and family members did just that, tying wreaths at intersections throughout College Point, Whitestone, Bayside and Little Neck.
"With no forethought of their own safety, they walked into these towers to save as many people as they could," Avella said of the firefighters.
Avella asked for a moment of silence for each of the 16 firefighters, soldiers and civilians who earned street names in his district for making the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11 when two commercial jets hit the Twin Towers and in the events that followed.
At the home of FDNY Ladder 130 and Engine 297 in College Point, firefighters came out to honor the memory of Firefighter Michael Haub, a College Point native.
Lt. Tim Keys of Ladder 130, who was serving at a firehouse in the Bronx on the morning of the terrorist attacks, praised the ceremony.
"The motorcade is important because it shows people can keep remembering," he said, "that it's not just us that has this thing hanging over us every September."
Not all those memorialized were firefighters. The intersection of 11th Avenue and 127th Street has been renamed "Thomas J. Shubert Avenue" in honor of the College Point native who was vice president of Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial service firms on the 101st to the 105th floors of One World Trade Center, at the time of the attack.
"Every year I bring my mom," said Shubert's brother, Ed, of the motorcade. "It's a place other than going to the cemetery where you can get some peace. With all the work going on at the World Trade Center, this is a comfort for us."
For Whitestone resident Jean Prevete, 60, the motorcade offered a chance to remember her son, James, a soldier who was killed in a vehicle accident in 2004 while serving in Iraq.
"It's just wonderful," she said of the ceremony. "He told his sister that he didn't want to be forgotten. This way, he's not."
Greenville, L.I., resident Sally Asaro, 45, came out to a corner in Whitestone to see the wreath put up on the street named for her brother, Carl, a firefighter who perished in the towers.
"My mother, Madeline, fought hard to have this," she said of the street sign. "It keeps us away from the politics at Ground Zero."
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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