Nearly 300 names being added to Long Island memorial wall honoring 9/11 responders

NESCONSET, Long Island (WABC) -- A memorial park on Long Island honoring those who served at Ground Zero and have since died of 9/11 related illnesses is adding 295 names to its memorial walls this month.

The names will be added September 18, during a ceremony at Responders Remembered Park in Nesconset.

John Feal, of the FealGood Foundation, created the park in 2011 and said he has personally vetted the hundreds of names on the memorial walls.

"I pray that this is my legacy," he said. "'Because it's something tangible that I get to leave behind."

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The walls contain the names of not only uniformed first responders who have died of 9/11 cancers and other diseases, but also auto mechanics, Verizon workers, forensic dentists, photographers and architects who worked or volunteered their time at Ground Zero.

"Everybody here played a part in ensuring that New York was up and running again in a timely manner," Feal said.

The names are from all over the country, from Utah to California to Virginia.

"There's 435 Congressional districts in the U.S.," Feal said. "433 of them were represented at Ground Zero."

The pile was a place that knew no race, creed or political affiliation.

"That day, there was no rank, titles," said Richard Palmer Jr., of the FealGood Foundation. "Everybody worked hand in hand together."

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Feal said the names being added this year will complete one side of the walls. Next year, they will start adding names to the other side of the walls, which are, as of now, completely blank.

"This park is a book, and it has so many pages," Feal said. "This book is not over until the last name is on the wall."

To learn more about Responders Remembered Park, visit RespondersRemembered.com.

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