Breezy Point (NY)  9/11 Memorial

The Rockaway Point/Breezy Point community, a private beachfront community located on the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York City Borough of Queens suffered tremendous losses on 9/11, both of FDNY firefighters and business professionals working in the World Trade Center towers.

To honor the memory of those lost on that fateful day, the community created a beachfront memorial plaza that celebrates the memory of each individual. A wooden boardwalk winds through the memorial passing poems of reflection, personal remembrances of those lost and culminating in a beachfront plaza with etched glass window panes highlighting each community member and their unique interests (this area overlooks the water where the Twin Towers were once visible in the distance).

It should be noted that this memorial, while quite impressive, is not accessible to the public. A private beachfront community, access to the Rockaway Point/Breezy Point cooperative is controlled by toll gates requiring tokens provided by the security force on a very restricted basis. Only through my interaction with the Rockaway Point fire chief was I able to gain access and photograph this impressive monument.

Approaching the entrance, the beachfront memorial plaza

can be seen in the distance.

Just before entering the walkway, there is a glass etching with the poem “Footprints in the Sand”.

A view of the memorial plaza from the entrance walkway, the 9/11 memorial cross can be seen in the distance.

Approaching the first turn of the walkway, there is a glass etching of a ship with a poem about souls journeying to Heaven’s mast.

While walking out on the pathway, there are two seating areas tucked into side corners allowing a place to rest and reflect.

These areas contain a brief history of the World Trade Center as well as personal memories of those lost.

The main walkway leads out to the beachfront memorial plaza. The Twin Towers were visible from this vantage point overlooking the Lower Bay.

The plaza features glass etched panes for each individual community member lost.

Looking out over the beachfront from the memorial plaza, there is a 9/11 cross created from twisted steel recovered from the World Trade Center as well as assorted size crosses provided by individual community members to honor their loved ones memory.

These glass etched panes provided for each individual community member lost reflect each person’s own unique personality including their ethnic background, religious faith, hobbies and sports team affiliations. Many are adorned with proverbs, poems and even etched portraits. As can be seen in the photos below, some of the panes appear frosted - this is due to their location in the plaza which causes them to weather more quickly due to direct sunlight and exposure to the water.