Former Congressman Gary Ackerman will be the featured speaker at a special 9/11 memorial service to be held by Temple Israel of Great Neck on the Saddle Rock 9/11 Bridge, which has a commanding view of the World Trade Center, where tragedy struck 15 years ago.
Ackerman, who represented Nassau County’s North Shore when the Trade Center was attacked, will recall his activities on that day in remarks during the service, which will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11. The commemoration is open to all members of the community and will last about 45 minutes.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Ackerman lobbied federal security officials to use retired law-enforcement officers at New York–area airports and pressed former President George W. Bush to make good on his promise to provide New York with $20 billion in additional 9/11 disaster aid.
The congressman was also successful in the enactment of a bill that created the Heroes postage stamp, the revenue from which helps the families of rescue workers killed or disabled while responding to the attacks. The stamp was based on a photograph entitled Ground Zero Spirit.
The service, which has been conducted on the bridge each year since the attacks, is sponsored by the Temple Israel Men’s Club. Participants will meet at Temple Israel at 6:15 p.m. and walk down Old Mill Road to the bridge on Bayview Avenue. The marchers will have a Nassau County Police escort to the bridge and will be joined at the service by local fire departments and elected officials. The bridge will be partially closed to traffic during the service.
Rabbi Howard Stecker will lead the clergy, beginning the service with “God Bless America” and the Prayer for Our Country. Other significant prayers and readings will be included in the evening service.
“It is important that we remember this tragedy,” said Marc Katz, a former Men’s Club president and chair of the event. “What [could be a] more fitting way to remember September 11 than with prayers said along with members of the congregation and community. I urge everyone to attend this service and bring family, friends and neighbors.”
Those who do not wish to make the walk from Temple Israel can still attend the service, as parking and seating will be available near the bridge, as will police protection for those participating in the service.
Temple Israel, Long Island’s largest egalitarian Conservative Jewish congregation, is located at 108 Old Mill Rd. For more information, call 516-482-7800.