Two firefighters were killed in Beverly on Feb. 12, 1998, fighting a fire, and 403 first responders gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, trying to save the lives of others—a total of 405 Americans who exemplify courage and sacrifice in their service to others.
The park at 106th Street and Western Avenue in Beverly is intended to memorialize these brave Americans. Instead, it is overgrown with weeds, littered with debris, and the grass is continually overgrown.
Shrubs that were once in place on the north side along the fence have been removed, and it is now overgrown with weeds. Some of the plantings on the east side of the park are dead and overtaken by weeds. Due to weeds, the bricked area surrounding the beautiful, life-like statue of a firefighter with a child on his shoulders is no longer attractive and neat in its appearance.
Beverly is honored and privileged to have this memorial to the firefighters and to have been gifted with an actual steel beam from one of New York City’s 9/11 towers that was destroyed 18 years ago. This tribute is a representation of the many courageous individuals who lost their lives for all of us.
However, the state of the park, particularly in the last few years, is a shame and an embarrassment that reflects poorly on the Beverly community. Whereas I previously brought out-of-town family members and friends to view this memorial, I no longer do so.
Regardless of the office or organization that is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the park, we must do a better job of honoring our heroes. We pay taxes for this purpose, and, if for no other reason, we are paying for this service.
Let’s not blame anyone, but let us step up to the plate like the firefighters, police and port authority did when they were called on to help.