THE Irish community in New York was hit incredibly hard by the World Trade
Center disaster last week and the service in Woodside reflected that.
On Saturday night the Irish community prayed in St. Mary's in Woodside where
they came to mourn many of their own.
They prayed silently for those families with members missing and for all those
affected by the horrific events.
With the Irish Consulate confirming four civilians dead, and up to 20 Irish
citizens missing, the release of fire and police lists numbering Irish American
losses in the hundreds has hit very hard.
"Each family in Ireland has someone in New York," said Fr. Noel Moynihan at
the Woodside Mass.
"The 3,000 miles between Ireland and New York is a cord that links both countries
and events like this show that the distance is not great at all," he said.
The Mass organized by the Emerald Isle Immigration Center was set up to give
people a focus.
"We were taking so many calls from people who wanted to help or wanted to do
something. They couldn't stick watching the television anymore. So, we just
wanted to give people a focal point to come together and be together," said
Emerald Isle deputy director Ann Marie Scanlon.
As the crowd dispersed that sense of community was evident. "It was an Irish
Mass in honor of those who died in this tragedy. We felt we should for those
people that have loved ones missing or deceased. We feel whatever prayers we
can say for them will put everybody's mind at ease and maybe help," said Paul
Reilly from Cavan.
One Irish woman came to the ceremony to pray for her friend who worked on the
98th floor of one of the towers and is still missing.
"I had to get out and be with people, as time goes on we will all learn that
we know someone who has suffered because of this," she said.
Irish American Tommy Finn came to the ceremony because he comes from a fire
fighting family and spent 25 years in the NYPD himself.
He came to honor the extraordinary work these firefighters do. "It gives some
solace because there is a huge void now," he said sadly.