Postcards ceremony brings Staten Islanders together to honor 9/11 victims in close setting

A sunset memorial was held Monday on Staten Island to honor the hundreds of island residents killed 16 years ago in the September 11 attacks. NY1 Staten Island Reporter Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

It's a small and intimate memorial, one that continues to draw back the friends, family and neighbors of Staten Islanders killed on 9/11. 

Residents gathered Monday at the borough's World Trade Center memorial in St. George to mark the 16-year anniversary of the attacks.

"Here is where I find the most peace," Patricia Henrique, whose daughter died in the attacks, said at the memorial. "I've said this for 16 years, and this is where I want to be."

The memorial called Postcards went up back in 2004, and for the last 13 years families have descended on the North Shore waterfront to pay tribute. Two 30-foot-tall, wing-like structures, which are meant to represent postcards to loved ones, bear the profiles of the nearly 300 island residents who died.

"We miss you, we love you always, and God bless America," a family member of a 9/11 victim said at the podium.

A host of elected officials attended the ceremony. For many, Postcards is the last stop on a long day of reflection. Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke of the resiliency of the families — many for whom the wounds have not healed.

"We mourn with you again, and we remember each one of us with love — deep love — those we lost," de Blasio said. "But we are ready; we are ready to be as good as they were."

Another Staten Island memorial, a grassroots tribute called Angels Circle, draws many families on the eve of the attacks. But many of those gathered at Postcards say they choose this memorial rather than the one at the World Trade Center site, because of the sense of community.

"This ceremony is, to me, by far the most poignant. Beautiful," said Jeanette Schardt, whose husband died in the attacks.

"It's done well. It's heartwarming, helps me and my wife, my son and my daughters. It's good," said Robert Shay, whose son died on 9/11.

A memorial to the borough's first responders who died of 9/11-related illnesses has been built at the Postcards site, and a dedication ceremony is scheduled to take place next month.

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