2nd annual vigil in Reeves Park set for Sunday

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A portrait of Thomas Kelly painted by artist Peter Max on display at the Thomas Kelly Memorial golf tournament held at Cherry Creek Links in August.

The Kellys and other residents of the Reeves Park area in Riverhead will keep the memory of Tom Kelly and others who died on Sept. 11 alive Sunday with a candlelight vigil march up Park Road, which is also named in honor of Tom Kelly several years ago. A memorial in Tom Kelly’s honor stands at the corner of Sound Avenue and Park Road/Thomas Kelly Memorial Drive.

Taking place the second year in a row , the vigil will start at 6:30 p.m. People holding candles will walk down Park Road from Marine Street, where Tom Kelly lived, to the memorial in his honor, said Eric Biegler, the president of the Sound Park Heights Civic Association, which is organizing the vigil. A short ceremony will follow.

“Just a short service, nothing big,” Mr. Biegler said.

This year, Eric Thompson of South Fork Mason Supply in Speonk has donated a stone that will hold a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. It will be placed at the corner as a memorial, according to Mr. Biegler.

The civic association is also hoping a four-acre site at the corner of Park Road and Sound Avenue will be purchased by the county for use as a park and a permanent Sept. 11 memorial.

The county recently gave the property’s owner, Kenney Barra, a 90-day extension to make a decision on whether to sell the land or proceed with developing it, according to county Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches).

Peter Danowski, Mr. Barra’s attorney, confirmed that his client is negotiating with the county. He said Mr. Barra “would love to build on the property, but if the county reimburses him penny for penny for every dollar he’s put into this property, he’ll consider selling.”

Mr. Romaine said the county made a generous offer, although he wouldn’t disclose the amount. Published reports have put the number at $1.27 million. Mr. Danowski also wouldn’t comment on the amount of the offer.

The planned memorial is for all victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Biegler said.

Another FDNY firefighter killed on Sept. 11 was Jonathan Ielpi of Great Neck, who’s family owns property on Park Road. His father, Lee Ielpi, is a retired FDNY fire fighter as well as president of the September 11th Families’ Association, which opened the tribute WTC Visitors Center near ground zero in 2006.

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