On September 12th, 2001, around 3AM, Wendy Pelligrino
could stand it no longer. She found herself wandering
through her Staten Island, New York neighborhood,
tying red, white, and blue ribbons on the trees.
She then took two candles and her hand-made
“God Bless Our Heroes” sign, to an untended,
soil laden traffic island. On her next trip she planted
sixteen small American flags. After a neighbor left a
photo of a missing fireman he’d known as a boy, there
was no turning back. More photos followed. Wendy
Pelligrino’s make-shift memorial still stands today.
With the help of neighborhood volunteers, the great
generosity of local small business and considerable
monetary commitment from Pelligrino herself, the once
barren traffic island is now known worldwide as
“Angel’s Circle”, a unique “neighborhood” memorial to the
victims of the World Trade Center attacks.
Though it’s attracted visitors from as far away as Japan
and Australia, Angel’s Circle primarily honors Staten
Islanders, many whom were never recovered. “It’ keeps
us going”, retiree Simone Esposito has told more
than one reporter. He’d know. He lost his son Michael,
and nephew Frank, both firefighters on that fateful day.
Through tears of anger and sadness, many vowed to
“never forget” 9/11. Wendy Pelligrino, those who’ve
helped her, and still help hermaintain Angel’s Circle,
have chosen instead to ensure that the people of
Staten Island “always remember” those who were
victimized that day. read more »