A firefighter looking at part of the exhibit at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- People’s paths sometimes intersect with history and their timelines become woven into a larger context.
On Sept. 11, 2001, FDNY Assistant Chief of Department Gerard A. Barbara gave his life trying to evacuate people from the World Trade Center, and as he was a champion of continuing education, Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze, unveiled a history exhibit featuring the hospital’s 150 years of service to the community, while honoring Barbara’s sacrifice to the city.
"Part of his timeline is the timeline of the hospital," said Monsignor John Delendick, FDNY chaplain, during his remarks at a ceremony this afternoon opening the exhibit. "As he served his community well, as he served the city well, he also therefore served this hospital."
The exhibit features a plaque honoring Barbara, and a timeline of the hospital’s 150-year history, which also includes antiques from the hospital’s past.
Looking over the exhibit are, from left: FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, Staten Island University Hospital President and CEO Anthony Ferreri, and Joanna Barbara, widow of 9/11 hero Assistant Chief of Department Gerard A. Barbara.
Barbara’s wife, Joanne, unveiled the exhibit as her family and about 200 firefighters, hospital employees and others looked on at the Regina M. McGinn MD Education Center.
"My inspiration for getting involved in a project from Staten Island University Hospital is because Jerry was an advocate for continuing education, and this center is an education center; and that’s what we wanted to promote," Mrs. Barbara explained.
Barbara’s close friend, FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, attended the event.
"Jerry was one of the leaders in the department at the time of September 11, and for his efforts to be recognized for what he had done during his career and on September 11, to be remembered at this hospital -- who has a great affiliation with the department, we have the burn center down stairs, we have the children’s pediatric burn center named for some of the other members that we lost -- it’s a great combination, the FDNY and Staten Island University Hospital, North" Cassano said.
The hospital could not have accomplished the exhibit without the support from the Barbara family, said President and CEO of SIUH Anthony Ferreri.