You don’t have to go far to find the heroes of Roslyn. The Ellen E. Ward Clock Tower is named for a woman whose sons fought in the Civil War. The green on that same structure displays a cannon from the Spanish-American War. A monument at Roger and Peggy Gerry Park is dedicated to the local victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
Ten residents of the Roslyn area were lost on that day. A most poignant story remains that of the Langone brothers, Thomas and Peter, both of whom answered the call of duty at the World Trade Center. Thomas was an officer with the New York City Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit, while his brother was also a member of the NYPD, before moving to the New York City Fire Department (NYFD), where he worked for 15 years. And that wasn’t all. Both men were longtime members of the Roslyn Rescue Fire Department. Tom served as both chief and as an assistant chief. Like many members of both the NYPD and the FDNY, the Langone brothers followed in a family tradition. Their father, Paul, was also a member of Roslyn Rescue, where he served for 33 years.
The news of the brothers’ deaths was heartbreaking, but Roslyn never forgets its dead. In the months that followed, tributes to the two brothers were constructed. A stretch of Mineola Avenue has been named Langone Brothers Avenue, while the Roslyn Rescue firehouse contains a plaque and an eternal flame to both men. The memorial service to the brothers was a remarkable event. It was attended by thousands of local residents and also the governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating. Why did Keating travel to Long Island? In 1995, Thomas Langone traveled to that state to assist in rescue operations at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after it was also victimized by a terrorist attack.
That’s the kind of man Thomas Langone was and that’s why the memory of the two brothers remains evergreen.