By Jen Khedaroo
The Port Authority of NY & NJ and JFK Chamber of Commerce held a September 11th memorial ceremony at John F. Kennedy International Airport 16 years after the attacks. The ceremony took place at JFK Airport Ball Field, a five-acre field that will eventually become the Memorial Field at JFK Airport, a green space dedicated to the victims of 9/11.
In attendance were members of the NYPD, FDNY, National Guard, TSA, American Airlines, United Airlines, elected officials, local high schools and staff from the airport’s various terminals.
“This event marks the singular occasion where we all came together as one airport community honoring those lost in the senseless attacks,” said JFK general manager Michael Moran.
The Port Authority lost 84 employees on 9/11. Their name, as well as the name of those who perished in United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11, were read aloud at the ceremony.
JFK Airport is the only airport in the country with a synagogue, mosque, and both a Protestant and Catholic chapel. Religious leaders from all faiths took to the stage for prayers and remembrance of those lost.
“We were all attacked, regardless of our faith or color,” said Imam Ahmet Yuceturk. “What we stood for was attacked, but we stood together that day and we’ve been standing together. When we remember all those people we lost that day, they live in us.”
Joe Clabby, president of the JFK Chamber of Commerce, called on the community to help bring the vision for the park to life.
“This is part of who we are as a community,” said Clabby. “We want your help to make it a living memorial, so 50 years from today people will say, ‘you need to go there, you need to bend a knee and feel it.’”