Queens street named after Newtown victim - New York News

Queens street named after Newtown victim

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Family, friends and legislative leaders from Sunnyside, Queens celebrated the life of a 6-year-old boy, who once lived there, who died in the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Benjamin Wheeler died alongside 19 other innocent children when Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary with a gun last December and started shooting. Ben loved swimming, the Beatles, soccer and -- perhaps most of all -- the 7 train that serves the Sunnyside, Queens neighborhood where he was born.

Saturday, local leaders named a street across from that train in Ben's honor.

"Congressman Crowley said [to me]: 'Maybe we could name the subway station after Benjamin Wheeler,'" City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer recalled. "And I said: 'That's a great idea. I support it 100 percent, but the MTA can be a little funny about things sometime.'"

So instead, those leaders settled on a street sign. Ben's older brother Nate did the unveiling while his mother watched and his father, David, compared the family's departed first-grader to luminaries whose names oversee other Queens streets.

"Ben didn't serve in the Second World War and help liberate a concentration camp and live to be 100," David said. "Ben was 6. He had just learned how to tie his shoes. That was his major accomplishment and, frankly, he hadn't really perfected that either."

That mix of humor and sadness pervaded much of the hour-long ceremony. A U.S. congressman sang Ben's favorite song ("Here Comes the Sun") and those who knew the boy reflected on his smarts, curiosity and compassion.

"We took the train together," family friend Tom Kelly said, "and Ben sat next to me and curled himself up in my arms. I think that might be the last time I saw him."

The family whose son called Sunnyside home for barely a year thanked the community and asked that Benjamin Wheeler Place point out not only where passers-by are now, but also where they can go in the future.

"You quite literally have kept us standing," David said to the community members in attendance.

  • Connecticut NewsConnecticut NewsMore>>

  • O'Neill Theater: where stars were born

    O'Neill Theater: where stars were born

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:37:42 GMT
    It's a running joke that if you mention the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center to nearly anyone in Hollywood they're going to know exactly what you're talking about because odds are they might have gotten their first big break there. Would you believe some Hollywood's biggest stars -- Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Angela Bassett -- got their start in a big red barn in the middle of nowhere.
    It's a running joke that if you mention the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center to nearly anyone in Hollywood they're going to know exactly what you're talking about because odds are they might have gotten their first big break there. Would you believe some Hollywood's biggest stars -- Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Angela Bassett -- got their start in a big red barn in the middle of nowhere.
  • President Clinton to headline New Haven rally

    President Clinton to headline New Haven rally

    Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Connecticut to help raise money for the state's Democratic Party.
    Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Connecticut to help raise money for the state's Democratic Party.
  • Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:07:45 GMT
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:48:09 GMT
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
  • New MTA bus routes take effect

    New MTA bus routes take effect

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:09:54 GMT
    MTAMTA
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
  • 3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:47:41 GMT
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices