Located in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, on Avenue X, is a popular playground where, on one side are swings and slides, off to the right you may have tennis (depending on time of year), and in front is a huge handball court wall painted in memory of the victims of 9/11.
Some interesting trivia:
The memorial spans most of the concrete slab, which measures more than 77 feet long and 25 feet high; the flag in the center measures more than 22 feet wide and 11 feet tall.
The wall features the names of more than 270 local Brooklynites who died in the Twin Towers.
The mural/graffiti art was painted by south Brooklyn neighborhood icon, ‘Rockin’ Ray Fiore “without permission from the New York City authorities… in a marathon session from September 17 to September 23, 2001..”..he worked on it for “fourteen hours, six days straight.” Rockin’ Ray’s signature can be seen in the lower right hand corner of the wall.
A memorial committee was set up, the Brooklyn-Bedford 9/11 Memorial Park Committee, which prints and distributes fliers and asks attendees to bring a candle- using this as an annual gathering spot to remember the fallen in a 2-hour ceremony that uniquely captures the spirit of South Brooklyn. Like Leonardo’s “Last Supper” – this paint needs some refreshing, so periodically, the artist, Ray Fiori, touches up the wall, retraces names that have faded off because of the elements and sometimes adds new names which he discovered were left off.
On a misty, grey cold day in November, after Thanksgiving, it stands oddly alone. Only a few Parks Department workers were there cleaning up around the park. However, when Spring rolls around, the park and the ‘inner sanctum’ where the handball court’s wall stand, is so crowded that only the top of the mural is visible.