Sandy Destroys 9/11 Tribute Park In The Rockaways
As Sandy barreled through the city, it destroyed homes and lives. But it also destroyed a 9/11 tribute park in the Rockaways that residents, who themselves are struggling in the storm's aftermath, want to rebuild as soon as they can. NY1's Ruschell Boone has more.
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Amelia Cruz didn't lose anyone on 9/11, but she and her grandmother always appreciated the park dedicated to the Rockaway residents killed in the attacks.
As they passed by the park for the first time since Sandy struck, they realized that, like their homes, the park had been severely damaged.
"How they had it all together was beautiful," Cruz said. "It was nice that they did this for them and to see it like this is sad."
The most visible damage is on the pathway where the bricks were uprooted.
Many of them carried the names of victims.
Bernie Warnock, president of the Friends of Tribute Park, which oversees the park, said Friday that aside from the bricks, trees, plants and artwork were also destroyed.
"The plants -- some of these plants are unreplaceable," Warnock said. "We have to go through the Parks Department and see what we can get."
With the boardwalk and several other parks destroyed, Warnock said he's not sure when the Parks Department will be able to get to his park.
He said the department has been trying to save some of the greenery, but volunteers will have to help to repair the space.
With so many people in the area trying to rebuild their homes and businesses, it's still unclear when the repairs will be made.
Warnock said he's depending on volunteers who used to meet here on Tuesdays to help with upkeep. He said he hopes they will be able to meet again soon.
"We usually meet at 8:30 until about 10:30," Warnock said. "That's with the hours of the crash at the World Trade Center and it was a Tuesday. It's just a thing that we started. And we get a lot of work done. They are a great help and the community is supportive."
Cruz said she will be joining the group to help repair one of her favorite places on the peninsula.