President & CEO Beth Hillman Visits Bronx & Queens Communities

  • June 12, 2024
Elizabeth Hillman reads a plaque mounted on a rock in a lush garden.

Elizabeth Hillman visits the Fordham University 9/11 Memorial Garden with students who had interned at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

9/11 Memorial & Museum President & CEO Beth Hillman has been visiting communities deeply affected by 9/11 to better understand their collective response and the personal stories that define them.

Last month, Hillman visited communities in the Bronx and Queens in New York City. In the Bronx, she met with Fordham University President Tania Tetlow to discuss educating the next generation on 9/11 and received a tour of the campus, led by current Fordham students who had interned at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Stopping at the 9/11 Memorial Garden on campus, they reflected on the three Fordham students and 36 alumni who were killed in the attacks.

Elizabeth Hillman looks at a memorial plaque inset into a stone garden patio.

Hillman at the Jacobi Medical Center’s Memorial Garden.

The next stop in the Bronx was Jacobi Medical Center’s Memorial Garden, which honors the Bronx residents killed on 9/11 and those who have since died from 9/11-related illnesses. You can read more about her stop in the Bronx Times. The Bronx visit concluded with a pasta lunch on the famous Arthur Avenue. Here, Hillman had the pleasure of meeting with a retired New York City Police Department detective who shared his personal connection to 9/11, having worked at the Staten Island landfill Fresh Kills, where tons of debris were transported from Ground Zero. The landfill served as the primary location to sort through and investigate the World Trade Center wreckage.

Next up was a return trip to Queens, New York, where Hillman had previously visited the 9/11 memorial at Queens College, CUNY with the College’s president, Frank Wu. Joined by New York City Councilwoman Joann Ariola, her first stop in Queens was the Rockaways’ Tribute Park and Flight 587 Memorial Park, which commemorates the 265 victims who died in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 on November 12, 2001. The Rockaway Times covered their visit. The borough tour continued to the Breezy Point neighborhood. At the Roxbury and Breezy Point 9/11 Memorials, Hillman spoke with members of the Breezy Point Cooperative, the artist Patrick Clark, 9/11 survivors, and family members of those who died on 9/11 and from 9/11-related illnesses. Clark spoke about the community connections that inspired his designs in Breezy Point and at Tribute Park, which features a glass cupola with 57 stars bearing the names of 9/11 victims from the Rockaways. The group concluded the day by swapping gifts and stories over lunch at the Breezy Point Activity Center.

Elizabeth Hillman and Joann Ariola pose in front of a decorative black metal gate that says Tribute Park

Hillman at the Rockaways’ Tribute Park with New York City Councilwoman Joann Ariola.

New York communities played a central role in the response to 9/11 and continue to demonstrate their deep bonds and resilience in the wake of tragedy. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum recently announced New York First Mondays in recognition of New Yorkers’ incredible impact and determination. Through this program, New York State residents will receive exclusive free admission to the Museum on the first Monday of every month. Those tickets can be reserved here.

By Thomas Flatley, Government & Community Affairs Coordinator

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