On Friday, September 21st, the Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Agency of East Harlem, joined by the staff of the Little Sisters of the Assumption Volunteer office as well as some 300 members of the neighborhood held a candlelight vigil in honor and appreciation for the New York City Police and Fire Departments—both of which have suffered staggering losses in the wake of the September 11 attack.

The crowd made signs, wrote notes, and lit candles. A local florist donated hundreds of red roses. They first assembled at Holy Rosary church, where a small service was held. From there, the crowd marched to the 25th Precinct, where they left flowers and plaques and other signs of appreciation. They were met by the Sergeant on Duty, who expressed his thanks on behalf of the NYPD for the massive outpouring of support, which has helped buoy their spirits during this most  difficult period.

The crowd then proceeded to Ladder Company 14. The 14 was especially hard-hit, having lost one of their own when the first tower collapsed. The crowd tearfully expressed their gratitude and appreciation for what we now know to be truly “New York’s Bravest.” The firefighters on duty chatted with the crowd, prayed with them, and thanked them for their support.

Finally, the procession—having picked up a few off-duty police officers and fire fighters—settled at St. Paul’s church, where a final service and reflection was held. The crowd prayed for peace and for hope and for the brave men and women who lost their lives while helping others. These people have truly earned the title of “heroes.”

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