Every year, the Feal Good Foundation hosts a reading of the names of first responders who have lost their lives since September 11, 2001, due to illnesses sustained during the recovery of the attacks in New York. This year, the bell that is used to honor each fallen responder at 9/11 Responders Remembered Park will be retired and given to the widow of Ray Pfeifer, who lost a decade-long battle with cancer this year.
“I can’t think of a better way to honor him than to give this bell to his widow,” said John Feal, founder and president of the Feal Good Foundation, which provides services to first responders recovering from injuries and illnesses from 9/11.
A new bell will be installed and will be engraved with Pfeifer’s name to honor his service.
Feal is also the Chairman of the 9/11 Responders Remembered Park, which came together in 2010, to “show their loved ones and families that their heroic actions will never be forgotten.”
Feal’s organization and work is dedicated to not only honoring those who died on 9/11, but the men and women who are still suffering from that day through illnesses and injuries. The most common ailments include cancer, respiratory infections, and suicide.
“We have a responsibility at that park to make sure that history is never distorted,” he said. “This is a generation-long illness that is not going away.”
Feal is also a victim of the repercussions of that day. He sustained injuries during the emergency response that cost him part of his foot, but he says they “pale in comparison” to those of many other responders.
The event gets hundreds of residents to come out each year, and Feal expects this year to be no different.
The annual reading of the names will be on Saturday, September 16 at 10 a.m. at the park, which is located at 316 Simthtown Blvd in Nesconset.