9/11: Boys of Queens

There is a beautiful song written by Andy Nolan and performed by the Biblecode Sundays called ‘Boys of Queens’. It tells the story of an Irish-American soldier in the present-day Iraq conflict who – just before he dies – recalls how he lost his own father and brothers in New York on 9/11,  all of them with the FDNY.

September 11th 2001. It’s almost a decade since then and an awful lot of American history has taken place during that time.

As I listened to the song on my iPod last night I decided that I wanted to capture as many memories as possible from that moment ten years ago. To hear from people who loved and lost family members, to hear from those who worked endless days and nights in the most horrific of circumstances, to hear from those who were thousands of miles away, but found their perspective of life forever changed.

I’m going to use the Internet to find those memories. Ten years have passed. Soon it will be twenty and thirty years on and a generation will have passed. There will be adults leaving university in another ten years who were born after 9/11 and only know of the event from history classes and memorials.

What I want to do:

  • Collect memories from people across the world of how 9/11 affected them, their families, and perhaps how the event changed their world.
  • It could be from those directly affected by being there or those who were intensely affected just by the event itself and how the world has changed since then.
  • I will collect these memories for the remainder of July, edit them in August, and by September 11, 2011 I will produce a book of memories that can be purchased anywhere in the world – using Lulu.com.
  • I’d like all proceeds from the book to go to the Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation – a tribute to one brave FDNY firefighter who lost his life that day. The foundation funds higher education scholarships for the children of firefighters.

What I need you to do:

  • Write down your memory of September 11, 2011. Be as intensely personal or direct as you want to be. Aim to write somewhere between 500-800 words, but more or less is fine if you want to say less or more.
  • Let me know who you are, so I can give some introduction to you in the book. And if you want to remain anonymous then that’s fine, maybe just let me know how you want to be credited.
  • Send your contributions here: boysofqueens@gmail.com [before the end of July please]

I’ve spoken to the guys from the Biblecode Sundays and they fully support the book and will no doubt promote it at some gigs around September 2011.

Nothing we do now to remember that day can change what happened, but out of such great pain, perhaps we can create some good, help some people, and capture the memories of today for the next generation to come. So they never forget.

Firefighter Joseph A. Mascali, FDNY - One of New York's Bravest Remembered


One response to “9/11: Boys of Queens

  1. Sorry to everyone who was interested in this project, but I did not get enough material to work with in July so I have had to cancel it. It was a good idea and should have been possible, but I think the intensely personal nature of people’s feelings around this event meant that many would prefer to observe the 10th anniversary in a more private way – even though the intention of this project was only ever to raise some much-needed scholarship funds.

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