Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and the family of Carlos Lillo gathered on October 2, 2008 to officially open Carlos Lillo Memorial Park in Astoria, Queens. Joining them at the ceremonial opening were representatives of the FDNY and EMS services, Queens elected officials, civic leaders, and children from nearby P.S. 2.
Carlos Lillo, a New York City paramedic from Astoria, died on September 11, 2001, while responding to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Assemblyman Gianaris obtained state funding for the acquisition and development of the park and worked tirelessly to see the park through from idea to completion.
"Carlos Lillo was a credit to our community through his hard work as a paramedic long before September 11, 2001," said Assemblyman Gianaris. "It is fitting to recognize the achievements and sacrifice of this local hero by building this park in his name."
The official web site link for NY City Park and Recreation for Carlos Lillo Park
"Carlos Lillo made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the City of New York on September 11 and we are proud to name this new park in his honor," said Commissioner Benepe. "I want to thank the Lillo family for joining us today as we commemorate one of Astoria's heroes. I'd also like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Queens Borough President Marshall and Assembly Member Gianaris for generously funding this memorial."
Carlos Lillo Park, which will be open daily until 9 p.m., sits directly across from P.S. 2 at 76th Street and 21st Avenue, and is located on land that was a neighborhood eyesore for decades, having served as a graffiti-riddled construction storage area.
"This park will improve the environment, and enhance the quality of life in our community," added Gianaris. "The children at P.S. 2 and the entire neighborhood will benefit from a public green space that will serve as a tribute to a wonderful man."
The creation of Carlos Lillo Park is part of Assemblyman Gianaris' Revitalize Astoria campaign. Other revitalization projects made
possible through funding acquired by Assemblyman Gianaris include graffiti removal and park beautification, as well as the installation of antique street lights on Steinway Street, 30th Avenue, and Broadway, which have brought more shoppers and jobs into the community.