MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — People in town needed a quiet place to reflect about 9/11, says Paul Felice, a resident of Mount Kisco and a member of the fire department since 1980. He felt a connection to those who lost their lives when responding to the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
Now co-chair of the Mount Kisco Fire Department 9/11 memorial committee, Felice remembers feeling in October 2001 that he wanted to do more for the husbands and wives of the firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice that day. He ran a boot collection and within four hours had raised $28,000. From then on, Felice was the person who ran the 9/11 memorial services in town each year.
Retired New York City fireman Richard Alexander, a Mount Kisco resident, is the designer of the memorial and “spent over 30 days on the pile working," Felice says. The memorial is made up of two 7-foot black granite towers, each weighing 4,000 pounds, sitting in a pentagon-shaped fountain and surrounded by grass, to represent all three locations of the terror attacks.
The faces of the towers include the names of those from their fire protection district who lost their lives, George Morell and Michael Berekeley. The other three faces include the names of 343 firefighters who died on 9/11, the famous picture of three firemen raising the tattered flag at ground zero and the fire department’s mission statement. A piece of steel, secured from the Port Authority, will also be included in the memorial area.
“All of the labor has been volunteer. We’ve raised over $100,000 in generous donations from our community and beyond,” Felice says. The builder is a Joe Scopelliti, owner of Westfair Pools in Bedford Hills. The village donated the land that will be used on the north side of the Mount Kisco Town Library.
The memorial will be dedicated Sunday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. For the next 50 years, a different flag will be flown each year. They all traveled to the locations of the attacks.