So said Bob Kelly, brother of Reeves Park resident Thomas Kelly, 38, a New York City firefighter and one of seven members of Engine 219, Ladder 105 who died on September 11 after the terrorist attacks.
Reeves Park residents have participated in a 9/11 gathering each year, Kelly said.
"This year, the memorial park that took a whole lot of work on so many levels is now a reality," he said.
This year's Remembrance Walk will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Those participating should gather at Marine Street and Park Road at 6 p.m.; the walk will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the memorial event will last approximately an hour.
"This year will be he first year that the 9/11 Memorial Park is open for us," Eric Biegler, president of the Sound Park Heights Civic Association said. "The buildings and grounds department of the Town of Riverhead have done an outstanding job in the development of this park to get it done for this day. I for one am extremely proud of the job that they did. Come see what people can do when they have their hearts in a project."
He added, "Please make time to come down that night. Walk with us. Take time out to reflect on what happened a few miles west of us so many years ago that changed all our lives. Please come and join our community as we stand together. We will never forget."
Kelly said if it's not possible to attend the service next Wednesday, anyone who has lost a loved one should come by in the fall to see the new park.
The Reeves Park community will have 9/11 forever etched on their hearts, Kelly said.
"The memorial is in honor of all we have lost and for all the families," he said.
Kelly has said that the new park will also pay tribute to the first responders who have become ill after 9/11.
Eric Biegler, president of Sound Park Heights Civic Association, spoke at Riverhead's town board meeting in March and announced that Suffolk County had closed on the property, allowing plans to move forward for the park.
The county acquistion of the 4.1 acre parcel, located at the corner of Sound Avenue and Thomas Kelly Memorial Drive/Park Road, has been a long-sought-after goal.
"There's a true sense of peace," Kelly said. "Knowing that after ten years, the right thing has been done."
The vision for the park included a garden, with memorial benches, butterflies, and stones to mark the event and lives lost.