|Birth: ||unknown, USA|
|Death: ||Sep. 11, 2001|
New York, USA
SEPTEMBER 11TH MEMORIAL - HOLY ROOD CEMETERY - WESTBURY NY
Ever since the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001, it has been the intention of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Rockville Centre to erect a memorial to call to mind the event that will be forever etched in our memory and will remain a part of our national psyche. This memorial had been erected to provide a place in a local Catholic cemetery setting where the names of those who died and whose bodies have not been recovered can be memorialized and where their families may come to as a place of remembrance and meditation. As one people in Christ's body, whose membership does not expire with death, we hope to provide a place to renew faith and affirm hope in the resurrection and the eternal mercy of God.
A committee was formed, chaired by Msgr. John McCann, pastor of St. Mary's in Manhasset and chairman of the Cemetery Advisory Committee. He was joined by his fellow pastor, Rev. Joseph Schlafer from St. Joseph's in Garden City. Both parish families were severely impacted by the tragedy. Joining them on the committee were Mr. Paul Cangelosi, a memorial designer, Mr. Darrin Buiso of the Architectural firm of Fellman Associates, and Mr. Neal Barlin, Director of the Office of Catholic Cemeteries.
The memorial has been placed in the small section of land (called Section 29) that had been set aside for the victims in Holy Rood Cemetery. Although families have chosen to inter or entomb in other parts of the cemetery or in other Diocesan Cemeteries, the majority are interred in this section.
The committee began to focus on the religious theme of the shrine, and decided that a representation of the Pieta would be the most appropriate. In his book The Great Fifty Days, Savoring the Resurrection, Fr. Francis Gaeta writes:
"I think the most moving of all religious images is that of Michelangelo's Pieta. The tender and poignant depiction of the Mother holding in her arms the dead body of her Son has the power to touch everyone's heart. This depiction of Mother and Son is more than a Lenten or even Christian symbol. It is universal in what it depicts and in what it says. While it powerfully depicts the pain, agony, sorrow and desperation of Mary holding her beloved Jesus, it also depicts Mary in her role of every woman, powerfully experiencing the agony and pain of modern woman."
As it happened, the Cemeteries had purchased a bronze replica of Michelangelo's Pieta some time ago for use as a future shrine. The firm from which it was purchased owns the plaster copy taken from the mold of the original masterpiece. (The Gypsoteca of Firenze contains all the copies of the major pieces of art found in Italy. These copies have been taken in case the real pieces of art were to be damaged to ensure their true reproduction.) The replica is cast using the lost wax technology and is as close as you can get to the original masterpiece by Michelangelo.
The inscriptions on the base of the statue read:
LORD, FOR YOUR FAITHFUL PEOPLE LIFE IS CHANGED, NOT ENDED.
WHEN THE BODY OF OUR EARTHLY DWELLING LIES IN DEATH WE GAIN AN EVERLASTING DWELLING PLACE IN HEAVEN.
(Preface Mass of Christian Death I)
GOD OF MERCY,
HEAR OUR PRAYERS AND BE MERCIFUL
TO YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS WHOM YOU HAVE CALLED FROM THIS LIFE.
WELCOME THEM INTO THE COMPANY OF YOUR SAINTS,
IN THE KINGDOM OF LIGHT AND PEACE.
(Prayers for the Dead)
As a background to the statue, there is a large eight-foot wide by twelve-foot high cruciform shape of black granite. On this will be inscribed the names of those who died on September 11th as requested by their family. (This was done at no cost to the families, but did require the permission of the next of kin.) Reminiscent of such memorials of the Vietnam War Memorial, the inscription of the names on a massive piece of black granite is a powerful image of lasting memorialization. The two structures are joined together in a stone-paved plaza, uniting the memory of those who died with the redemptive death of the Savior Lord. It also provides a place of peace, meditation and consolation to their families.
Dedicated on Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Over 300 names have been added to this memorial. the names of the victims and their occupations (if desired) are inscribed on this memorial in a randon order. Names as of this year continue to be added to the memorial upon request.
Cemetery of the Holy Rood
New York, USA
Plot: Section 29
Created by: Peter J Ryan, CCCE
Record added: Dec 26, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23564664