Boy Scout revitalizes Long Island 9/11 memorial to spur community unity

STEWART MANOR, Nassau County (WABC) -- Steven Giammona, of Stewart Manor, was born in October of 2001, one month after the terrorist attacks and one month after the death of his uncle, Vincent Giammona.

The FDNY lieutenant was off that day for his 40th birthday, but when he heard about the attack, he -- like so many others -- ran to help. He went into the North Tower and was never seen again.

"Unfortunately, I know my story isn't very unique," Steven said. "Everybody around here in this area has lost somebody, whether it be a friend or family member."

Steven, who is a junior at Chaminade High School, decided for his Eagle Scout project that he would revitalize an old 9/11 memorial outside Stewart Manor Village Hall.

The memorial had been built in 2003 and had become weathered over the years.

"I would like this to become a sort of a center point for Stewart Manor," he said. "A place where we can really call ourselves a community."

He began working on the project three years ago and raised more than $10,000 by selling $100 engraved memorial pavers.

He went door to door to all 600 homes in Stewart Manor, handing out flyers for the pavers.

"I'm very proud of Steven," mom Marilou Giammona said. "He has worked so hard on this project."

Marilou Giammona said her son spends all of his free time working on the project.

The memorial site features benches, a new flag pole and flag, a refurbished plaque and a new memorial base of granite and blue stone, which was donated by local businesses, and a piece of steel from the towers given to Steven by the Village of Stewart Manor Fire Department.

He says he never could have completed the project without all the help from his community.

"I'm overwhelmed, honestly," he said. "I wasn't expecting this much support."

Village of Stewart Manor Mayor Mike Onorato said the village has been honored to support Steven during the project.

"Steven took a somber day, with a somber event and he made it a very, very positive event," Onorato said. "In other words, he's sharing it with the community, come share with me, look what we did, let's reflect, let's remember."

Steven will hold a large unveiling ceremony for the memorial on September 11 at 6:30 p.m. Hundreds are expected to attend.

* More Long Island news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.