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, said recently that he was pleased by the momentum.
"The town has been plugging away and it is starting to shape up nicely," Kelly said. "The guys involved are making this a point of pride and are doing the right thing, and are doing a great job."
Kelly added that a formal dedication should take place by 9/11.
"The community is excited to see the progress and the Sound Park Heights Civic Association is committed to partnering with the county and town to make this a special place," he said. "The efforts of a few good friends and the support from the community and family are making this become a reality. It's still hard to believe but it's happening."
Kelly has said that the new park will also pay tribute to the first responders who have become ill after 9/11.
The county acquisition of the 4.1 acre parcel, located at the corner of Sound Avenue and Thomas Kelly Memorial Drive/Park Road, had 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."
Kelly said with plans set to move forward, "we will now have a peaceful place for reflection, meditation, and prayer — a place to walk and be in your thoughts, to reach into your feelings."
The park will bring a measure of solace for those left behind, Kelly said.
"I feel that my brother Tom and all my friends that were killed that horrible day, as well as the far-too-many folks who are becoming ill and passing after the rescue and recovery work, will have a fitting place," he said. "Family, friends, the people of Suffolk can come to a beautiful place to pay respects, or to be in the moment with their memories."
The vision for the park includes a garden, with memorial benches, butterflies, and stones to mark the event and lives lost.