Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Woodhaven Residents' Block Association

Jimmy Young Day

The Woodhaven Residents' Block Association along with St. Thomas the Apostle Church led a commemoration of Woodhaven resident and New York City Firefighter Jimmy Young, who died in a blaze sixteen years ago this month.
Dozens of people, including some of Jimmy's relatives, turned out for "Jimmy Young Day" on Saturday, March 27. The commemoration included the hanging of a wreath at the corner of 87th Street and 88th Avenue after the 4:30 Mass.

"His was a loss that was, obviously, devastating to his family, and one admires the class and dignity in which they carry on," said WRBA President Edward K. Wendell. "One can only imagine the contributions he would have made to Woodhaven -- as a resident, a business leader, and a friend."

Father Frank Tumino, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle, led the gathering in a prayer. Next, Allison and Jaclyn, Jimmy's nieces, hung the wreath. Jimmy's sister, Maureen, then thanked those in attendance for remembering her brother. "Jimmy was an amazing person. He touched so many people's lives, and it's great that he's still remembered and honored," she said.

WRBA Director Maria Thomson then read from the statement she made at City Hall the day a bill was signed renaming a stretch of 87th Street -- including the intersection where this ceremony was held -- Jimmy Young Place. "Jimmy, you were taken too soon, and we miss you. But with your name proudly displayed on Jimmy Young Place, the legacy of your winning life and your heroic death will always live on," Thomson read to the crowd.

Jimmy Young died on March 28, 1994, while searching for people in a burning building in SoHo, in Manhattan. The blaze also claimed the lives of Captain John Drennan and Firefighter Chris Siedenburg.

The Woodhaven Residents' Block Association intends to continue commemorating Jimmy Young Day each year.

The event received coverage from several media outlets:

Queens Chronicle
The Queens Courier

Information about the photos above:

Photo 1 - The crowd observes a moment of silence. Photo by Joe Virgona.
Photo 2 - Jimmy Young's brother Kenny and family; Jimmy's sister Maureen and family; Edward K. Wendell, President of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association; and WRBA Director Maria Thomson stand by the wreath. Kenny is holding the helmet Jimmy wore during his fatal last call. Photo by Joe Virgona.
A video recording of the ceremony and more photos are available at Project Woodhaven: