Despite the torrential downpours on September 11th, Leaders Engaged In All-round Development (LEAD*N), Science and Resilience Canarsie Street Team and Divine Arts Explosion Program (DEAP) forged ahead with their plans to hold “A National Day of Service and Remembrance,” in memory of almost 3,000 victims who perished in the terror attacks on the United States, 22 years ago.
The memorial took place in front of 1425 Rockaway Parkway, a bustling area along the Canarsie Merchants Corridor, and began at 2 p.m. in order to allow the youths getting out of school to be a part of the memorial. Many stopped by and were eager to try their hands at drawing and painting under the guidance of Princess Cronneitt who runs DEAP. The youths in DEAP’s art program rapped on African drums to mourn and memorialize the tragic losses but also as a celebratory symbol of the living.
LEAD*N’s leader Jennifer Viechweg-Horsford told the gathering, “The message from today’s ‘service’ is let’s love each other and fight hate together.” Viechweg-Horsford, co-founder Clover March and volunteer Brenda Cox wore crimson poppy pins, a tradition they observed while growing up in former British colonies in the Caribbean, where poppies are still worn by many, in remembrance of their fallen heroes. The pins displayed the bold caption, “Lest we Forget.”
With the help of other volunteers, the group handed out over 100 totes with resource information and assorted treats.
The event, which is in its 11th year, was supported by State Senator Roxanne Persaud (SD 19), Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (AD 59), Canarsie Merchants Association (CMA), 1 Cato Sno Cone and the 69th Precinct. Commanding Officer Captain Dion Hinds said, “Events like these help us to never ever forget!” Community Affairs Officer Samuel Maria agreed as he expressed his admiration for the youths saying, “I’m proud of the young people and hope that more of them would get involved in developing these skills.”
The team has several upcoming events planned to tackle climate resiliency including a march in New York to End Fossil Fuel, a rally in October to raise awareness of the ponding dilemma on Church Lane, as well as “I Love My Park Day” in Canarsie Park.