Kingston Church’s 9/11 Ceremony To Center Around Cross Made From WTC Steel

September 11, 2018
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Kingston Church’s 9/11 Ceremony To Center Around Cross Made From WTC Steel

KINGSTON — The Rev. John Hartman hasn’t forgotten Sept. 11.

The Grace Episcopal Church on Butler Street has a constant reminder of that fateful day — a cross made out of World Trade Center steel.

Hartman has a personal reminder as well. He was in Midtown Manhattan during the attack.

“I heard this enormous plane overhead. You could immediately know it was way too low,” Hartman recalled.

When he got to work at the AIDS foundation he headed, Hartman heard the plane had struck the World Trade Center. He decided to go for a walk to get a glimpse. By that time, he saw that both towers were on fire.

“It was very clear that there was an attack on the World Trade Center,” Hartman said.

He decided to head home to Plainfield, New Jersey, but it took him hours to finally catch a train from Penn Station.

Hartman, parishioners and other local residents plan to gather around the steel cross today in the church’s memorial garden for a remembrance ceremony to recognize the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. If the weather is bad, they will gather inside the church.

“I’m positive it’s like what people experienced after Pearl Harbor. There were gatherings for years and years,” Hartman said. “I run across people all the time who had a family member or a very good friend or someone they knew who were killed in the attack.”

The cross was made by a local salvage company operator for the late businessman Rusty Flack, whose family belonged to the church. After Flack’s death, his wife donated the cross to the church to display it in the memorial garden, which is dedicated to Flack.

The garden exists on the right side of the church that previously had a bunch of trees. The ground was mostly dirt and mud. The landscaping cost about $30,000 to beautify the area.

“Not one penny of the church treasury went into it. A lot of parishioners and non-parishioners donated,” Hartman said.

The annual Sept. 11 remembrance event is open to the public. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the church, located at 30 Butler St., Kingston.

“We will remember the names, faces and lives of the men, women and children killed,” a press release for the event said.

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