Newton Foundation hosts 9/11 tribute in Brooklyn

Dr. Judith Newton, third from left, with officers from the 69th Precinct.
Dr. Judith Newton, third from left, with officers from the 69th Precinct.
Photo by Nelson A. King

The Brooklyn-based Newton Foundation, co-founded and co-owned by retired New York Police Department (NYPD) detective Barbadian Dr. Judith Newton on Saturday observed the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

The observance at Seaview Park in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, attracted area legislators, such as State Sen. Guyanese Roxanne Persaud; Trinidadian Assemblywoman Jaime R. Williams; Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman, of Barbadian and Jamaican parentage; and City Councilwoman Haitian Mercedes Narcisse.

Among other who attended the solemn ceremony and paid tributes were Frank Seddio, retired chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party; Randy Peers, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; officers from the 69th Precinct in Canarsie; Community Activist Lucina Clarke; Chaplain Debra Cesaire of World-Wide Churches; and members of the Brooklyn Metropolitan Lions Club.

“We stand 21 years later, and we still have victims of the tragedy,” Seddio said. “We have to remember 973 people who dies in the World Trade Center.

“Let us remember for what we see is a tragedy in the country,” he added.

Randy Peers and Dr. Judith Newton at the 9/11 tribute in Brooklyn.
Randy Peers and Dr. Judith Newton at the 9/11 tribute in Brooklyn. Photo by Nelson A. King

Persaud, who represents the 19th Senate District, said: “We are all one. We look at the NYPD, the clergy, the FDNY (Fire Department of New York), We look at the Lions, we’re all giving back.

“We all have to remember that day (9/11),” she added. “It’s all about giving back; all about keeping our communities together.”

Chandler-Waterman, who succeeded Assemblyman Nick Perry, as representative for the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, disclosed that she had gone into labor about 20 hours after the twin towers of the World Trade Center were struck by airplanes in the terrorist attacks.

“I have to thank God for saving me, but we have to keep memorializing all who were lost,” she said. “We got to love each other. Love drives out hate.”

Williams, who represents the 59th Assembly District, also in Brooklyn, said the attacks on the World Trade Center were “bad” acts.

Narcisse, representative for the 46th Council District in Brooklyn, said the terrorist attacks are “engraved in my memory forever.”

“Love got us through,” she said. “New York has been hit by many things, but 9/11 was different.

“Yes, love got us through, but love should be every day,” she added.

Captain Khandullar Abdullah addresses the audience at the Newton Foundation's 9/11 tribute in Brooklyn.
Captain Khandullar Abdullah addresses the audience at the Newton Foundation’s 9/11 tribute in Brooklyn. Photo by Nelson A. King

After calling out the names of the officers in his precinct, who died on 9/11, Captain Khandullar Abdullah, commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, said the “big majority of police officers work hard day in day out.

“Thank about what our men and women have to do on a daily basis,” he said.

Community activist Lucina Clarke, chief executive officer of My Time, Inc., said: “Being kind is what we have to do.”

Barbadian couple Ricardo Clarke and Valcia King-Clarke, a member of the Brooklyn Metropolis Lions Club, attended the event.

Ricardo Clarke worked with the New York City Transit Authority for 30 years before retiring in January as a structure maintainer.

On the evening of the 9/11 disaster, he said he, with a crew from his department, was assigned to the tragic scene at the World Trade Center site.

“For a few years, this horrific scene had me with nightmares in my sleep, which impacted my body for a while,” he told Caribbean Life afterwards. “Many of my work colleagues, who worked on the site, have passed away with cancer.

“The World Trade Center tragedy has been a nightmare for many,” he added. “I thank God I am alive today, and I pray for the many people who have lost their lives because of this.”

Dr. Newton retired from the NYPD in 2012 and continues to work in the community.

With her husband, Richard Baxt, retired assistant commissioner with the New York City Department of Probation, she established The Newton Foundation to expand their charitable work.

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