FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 1, 2022 • THE QUEENS COURIER 24
Middle Village elected offi cials, residents remember
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fi re on its 111th anniversary
BY JULIA MORO
Six individuals were honored during a memorial
and awards ceremony on Friday, March
25, to mark the 111th anniversary of the tragic
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fi re in Greenwich
Village in which 146 people died.
Th e ceremony was held at Christ the King
campus in Middle Village.
Th e Triangle Fire Memorial Association was
formed in 1955 to help perpetuate the memory
of those lost in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
fi re. Each year, the association sponsors memorials,
ceremonies and projects that encourage
people to remember the tragedy and its victims.
All of the victims of the fi re were Jewish and
Italian immigrants and mainly young woman
in their teens.
Former State Senator Serphin Maltese told
the crowd that he lost his grandmother and
two aunts in the fi re. He shared the story of his
grandfather, and the pain he felt losing those
closest to him.
“I’d like to take a moment to remember my
grandfather,” Maltese said. “He exemplifi es
many of the immigrants of today that have
come to the United States, the land of opportunity,
to set up their homes.”
Maltese’s grandfather came from Italy to be
a shoemaker and aft er a year, his family — his
wife, three daughters and two sons — came
through Ellis Island to join him. His youngest
daughter, Maria, died shortly aft er getting sick
on the ship to New York.
“Four years aft er that, his wife and his two
daughters went to work on the morning of
March 25, 1911,” Maltese said. “He never saw
them again alive.”
Maltese, aft er sharing his own family history,
said that he is grateful to those still honoring
the many lives lost.
“We are here not only to commemorate the
146 victims, but to honor six people that have
progressed the Triangle Fire tradition and go
and honor the memory of those lost,” Maltese
said. “We believe that we carry out the message,
not only for those who were lost, but to those
who fi nd their way to America as the land of
Th e fi rst honoree, Amy Koplow, a family
member of a Triangle Fire victim, was awarded
for her work as a lifelong teacher of Triangle
Fire history and service as an executive director
of the Hebrew Free Burial Association (HFBA).
She has also been a faculty member at CUNY
Queens College and SUNY Albany.
“On the anniversary of someone’s death, in
our faith, it is customary to speak their names
and talk about the deceased,” Koplow said.
Koplow went on to speak the names and ages
of the 22 victims, 18 women and four men, all
immigrants, buried by HFBA in Staten Island.
Council member Robert Holden and state
Senator Jospeh Addabbo presented citations
of honor to the honorees. Addabbo said that
it’s important to remember the tragedy that
changed our lives.
“Th ose children should never have been in
that situation,” Addabbo said. “Th e victims of
the Triangle Shirtwasit Factory Fire did not
die in vain and are still remembered over a
hundred years later. Because of that tragedy
we have safer work environments today.”
Th e second honoree, Dr. Fedele Vero, lost his
aunt, who was 15 at the time of the Triangle
Fire. Vero was recognized for his service in the
eff ort to remember the tragedy.
Other honorees included Stefanie DeFronzo,
Donna Ferraro, Michael Lewis and Genevieve
Councilman Robert Holden and Senator Joseph Spanarkel.
Addabbo each gave citations to the honorees.
Honoree Dr. Fedele Vero speaks during the ceremony.
Photos by Adrian Childress
Six individuals were honored during the ceremony held in remembrance of the tragic factory fi re in Greenwich Village where 146 people died.