Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Daily Remembrance

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Daily Remembrance

Article excerpt

There is a binder at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum that holds the names of the nearly 3,000 victims, listed chronologically by birthday.

Every morning before the memorial and museum open to the public, a volunteer copies the page for that day from the binder and goes to a refrigerator to remove one white rose for every victim who would have celebrated a birthday that day. The stems are cut 2 inches below the leaves, and the volunteer then walks out onto the plaza and places the rose on the first letter of the last name or a middle initial on the parapets surrounding the memorial pool. Two pictures are taken of the rose and name -- one with the pool in the background, the other with the skyline. The Birthday Rose photos are emailed to family members.

George Mironis, a museum volunteer, asked for that morning responsibility on the days he works.

"I feel very, very honored doing that," said Mironis, a North Bergen resident who escaped from the 48th floor of his north tower office 15 years ago. He began working at the museum in April 2012 as a way to heal and to honor the friends and co-workers he lost in the terrorist attacks.

The idea to place the roses came from a volunteer who is no longer at the museum.

"It was a very good suggestion," said Mironis, who often fields visitors' questions about the flowers.

He looks in the binder to the days when he is not scheduled for work. If there are 10 or more birthdays, "I tell the director, I'm going to come."

On a recent Sunday morning, he traveled from North Bergen to downtown Manhattan, placed the roses, then returned home to New Jersey and went to church, he said.

The roses are donated by Mikey Collarone of FloraTech, a downtown florist. Mikey Flowers, as he is known to many, was in the area the day of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and said he had run to help but had no medical training. After that experience, he worked to become an emergency medical technician. On Sept. 11, 2001, he watched the first plane hit as he was driving to work. …

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