On June 16, the GVBA installed commemorative brass plaques on our two Village firehouses, Squad 18 on West 10th Street and Engine 24, Ladder 5 on 6th Avenue below Houston. They were designed by Waverly Bank 11 Neighbors Vice President Barbara Datesh of Waverly Graphics and executed by Visual Graphics Systems owned by Don Healy of Jane Street. (Photos at www.gvba.org). Squad 18 is in the Greenwich Village Historic District; the plaque could not be affixed directly to the brick. A mounting plate with bolts into the mortar was installed; the plaque was attached to this plate.
Inscribed on the plaques along withthe names and ranks of the firefighters was a quotation from Song of Myself by Walt Whitman that describes the musings of a fallen firefighter observing the effect of his death on his comrades who are caring for his remains.
On the day of the installation, Sharon Woolums of the 8th Street Block Asso. and Chair of the Washington Square Environmental Committee completed a refurbishment of the message board that stands outside Squad 18’s house. Most of the firefighters who were serving at both houses on September 11 have since been transferred; many of them have received promotions. Squad 18 hosted a “thank you” party for the community last fall.
There is talk of a memorial park to commemorate the Village police officers — James Leahy and Claude Richards — who were also lost on September 11. On October 29, the intersection of Morton and West Streets was renamed in honor of Officer Richards. The Charles Street Block Association has dedicated two Bishop’s Crook Lampposts to the fallen officers. The family of Officer Leahy has presented the GVBA (as representing Village residents) with a commemorative patch as a token of appreciation for community support. Officer Leahy’s mother told us how much her son loved the Village and enjoyed working here. The GVBA has framed the patch and will display it at community venues and permanently place it on view at the Jefferson Market Library. (To see Patch)