The 16th annual “A Day of Service in Remembrance” event featured a Hell Gate 5K run, sponsored by the Hell Gate Road Runners and the Italian Federation, as well as a parade with children from PS 122, PS 85, the Immaculate Conception School and St. John’s Prep.
In addition, a combined ceremony was held at the Astoria Park War Memorial to commemorate the engineers, architects and laborers that built the Hell Gate Bridge, as well as to honor 9/11 victims and veterans.
“It’s all about our community coming together to celebrate something that we should honor,” said Antonio Meloni, president of the Astoria Civic Association and member of Community Board 1.
Members of the NYPD, FDNY and various military branches stood alongside residents for the commemoration, which featured a flag raising and wreath-laying ceremony.
“Everyone here gives something and some give all,” Meloni said.
The event was part of the Hell Gate centennial, which is an ongoing celebration as the bridge turns 100 this month.
Meloni said a photo contest is currently being held on the Hell Gate Centennial website, in which photos will be featured in various exhibits at banks, historical societies, and an exhibit space on 38th Street.
Petty Officer Hanssel Mattai, who participated in the flag-raising ceremony, said the event sets a good example for younger residents.
“Hopefully it inspires them to do something like that when they get older,” Mattai said.