A memorial on Staten Island dedicated to September 11th first responders is finally honoring these heroes by name. This comes after a series of reports by NY1 Staten Island Reporter Amanda Farinacci, who has the exclusive details.
For more than two-and-a-half years, something missing at the city's memorial to first responders from Staten Island who died from September 11th-related illnesses: any trace of the people it was supposed to honor.
But that's no longer the case.
The names of 66 fallen first responders have been etched into the marble slabs that overlook New York Harbor.
"I'm grateful to you, Amanda, and to NY1, for really being the ignition," Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said.
NY1 revealed last summer that after building the memorial, city's Economic Development Corporation, claimed it could not compile an accurate list of first responders entitled to be listed, even though other city agencies had no such problem creating their tributes.
And after two families declined to have relatives listed, officials simply decided not to name anyone at all.
But after NY1's reporting, the agency reversed course.
Those listed were firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers, and civilians who died as a result of doing recovery work at the site.
"This is a very small tribute that we can make to honor the people that passed away due to their recovery efforts," said Yvi McEvilly of the Economic Development Corporation.
The borough president's office has been meeting with families of first responders — as well as the agencies they worked for — to help compile the names.
A list, sadly, Oddo expects to grow. "We still want to be able to offer families any form of comfort, and it is sinful how that day keeps taking lives," he said.
A memorial ceremony for the first responder victims will be held every year.
It is planned for after 9/11 to ensure all the victims of the tragedy are paid proper tribute.