West Nyack Hamlet Green and Firefighter Memorial Park officially opens
A ceremony was held Sunday for the official opening of the West Nyack Hamlet Green and Firefighter Memorial Park.
Officials say the new community space has been open to the public since the spring. However, the community chose to hold its official opening after important features were installed.
The dedication of the four-acre park complete with a playground and adult exercise area kicked off a little after 12:30 p.m. with a firefighters' parade.
Officials then unveiled two memorial statues at the park’s center that honor the area’s fallen firefighters. One statue honors 9/11 heroes Thomas and Daniel Foley. The other honors former West Nyack Fire Chief Kenneth Matero.
Matero died as a result of fire he was fighting in 1974.
Thomas Foley died in the Sept. 11 attack and Daniel Foley died in 2020 from 9/11-related illnesses. The brothers were also members of the West Nyack Fire Department.
"Tommy and Danny were special. They were great athletes, they were involved in the fire department here. Ken Matero, our former chief who gave his life, we can't forget these folks," said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann.
Their family members were there to watch the moving ceremony.
"It was really emotional and really meaningful to us. This is where they grew up," said Carrie Foley, Daniel's wife.
When people look at these statues, Carrie Foley said she hopes the community does not forget the long-term impacts of Sept. 11.
"People are still getting sick from 9/11 and it's affecting families for years to come," she added.
Kendall Foley, one of Daniel's daughters, said she was stunned by the statues’ likeness to her father and uncle.
"I think it looks a lot like them," she said.