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How One Local Family Teaches the Community About 9/11

How One Local Family Teaches the Community About 9/11

The 2-day event in West Nyack features family tournaments, food trucks, wine and beer tent, live bands, and more


The Foley Family of Rockland County, along with the 9/11 Education Foundation and the Town of Clarkstown, is hosting a 2-day event to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. The goal of this event is to bring attention to the ongoing consequences felt by families who are still suffering from the effects. The event, 9/11 – Remember – Reflect – Educate, is aimed at honoring the heroes lost during and after that tragic day and promoting education, reflection, and remembrance around 9/11.

What to Expect at 9/11 - Remember - Reflect - Educate 

For years, the Foley family has brought the 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit to high schools across Rockland, Orange, and Westchester counties. The 9/11 Mobile Exhibit is a high-tech, 83-foot tractor-trailer that transforms into an 1,100-square-foot educational exhibit and will also be on-site for both days. The exhibit further educates people about the events of that tragic day and includes artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos, and recordings of first responder radio transmissions. Interactive guided tours are carried out by FDNY firefighters who provide firsthand accounts of the day and its aftermath. The 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit, which has traveled to nearly 50 states and Canada, has welcomed more than 500,000 people to date.

The Rockland County event will also include on-site vendors and sponsor tables, family activities, including corn-hole and mini-golf tournaments, children’s inflatables, and face painting, as well as food trucks and a wine and beer tent. 

There will also be live music both days, featuring Celtic Cross, Cousins Moran, Sheridan Rúitín, Country Fresh, and Reflections. All proceeds from the event benefit the 9/11 Education Foundation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 9/11 Education Foundation (@911educationfoundation)



When is the event? 

It will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 11am-8pm, and Sunday, Oct. 3, from 11am-6pm

Where will the event be held?

At Germonds Park, 185 Germonds Road in West Nyack. An opening ceremony will take place on Saturday at 1pm.

How much does it cost to attend?

There is a suggested donation of $20 per family to attend the event. To register to attend, visit 911EducationFoundation.org. You can also follow #FOLEYSTRONG on social media for updates and information. 

The Foley Family’s Story 

The event is highly personal for the Foley Family. Sept. 11, 2001, changed the Foley family forever, but memories will live on. Tom Foley and his wife Pat rooted themselves in the West Nyack community to raise their family. They instilled in their three children—Joanne, Tommy, and Danny—the importance of hard work, faith, and family. To know them was to know the true meaning of loyalty and commitment.

On Sept. 11, 2001, along with his brothers in Rescue 3, Tommy ran toward the unknown at Ground Zero with the sole intent to save others. On that day, he made the ultimate sacrifice doing what he often referred to as “the greatest job in the world.” Tommy lived each day with true intent and unbridled passion, and he made an unforgettable impact on everyone he met.

Danny followed in his older brother’s footsteps and also became a NYC firefighter. On 9/11, when Danny realized that Tommy was at the World Trade Center, he made a solemn vow to his parents to find Tommy and bring him home. Danny, along with his father Tom, spent each day at Ground Zero looking for Tommy; they were tireless in their search. On day 11 of their efforts, the Foley family received their miracle in a different form than they originally prayed. Danny found his brother and brought him home.

Danny and his dad continued returning to Ground Zero after Tommy was laid to rest to help other families find a semblance of peace. They, like thousands of others, would feel the effects of these acts of selflessness in years to come.

In the summer of 2016, Tom and his family learned that his time at Ground Zero was responsible for his diagnosis of a 9/11-related leukemia. Three months after that diagnosis, Tom passed away surrounded by family, including Joanne and Danny.

Danny built a beautiful family with his wife, Carrie. Together they were blessed with four daughters, Erin, Kiera, Brianne, and Kendall, and then their son, Thomas James, affectionately known to all as TJ, completed their family. Through their marriage Danny and Carrie created a lifetime of memories, as is the Foley way, living life to the fullest, surrounded by family and friends. Danny loved his family fiercely, and they were by his side in 2019 when he was diagnosed with 9/11-related pancreatic cancer.

Danny endured his illness with the same determination and bravery that he did 18 years earlier when he ran into the unknown at Ground Zero to find his brother. He fought with unwavering faith and genuine grace, and never questioned his purpose in this life. He loved fully and left a lasting impression on every person he met. Danny passed away on Feb. 22, 2020. To know Tom, Tommy, and Danny was to love them; they could never and will never be forgotten.

For more information, visit 911EducationFoundation.org or follow 9/11 Education Foundation on Facebook or Instagram.

Here at Rockland Parent, we've got everything you need to have a safefun, and festive fall and Halloween season.  Whether it is pumpkin or apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, making Halloween crafts or finding costumes and decorations, we're here to help. 

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Kate O'Sullivan

Author: Kate O’Sullivan is an editor for RocklandParent.com. For the past 24 years, she has taught ELA to special education middle-school students and for the past 15 years she has been planning fun after-school and weekend activities for her three children in and around Pearl River. What better way to combine her two passions than researching and writing about fun, local events?! See More

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