The New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 113th Precinct Community Affairs Department asked the South Ozone Park church drum corps to participate in a bench dedication ceremony in memory of Aamir Griffin. Griffin was a 14-year-old junior varsity basketball player, who was killed by a stray bullet in November 2019, while he was on a basketball court just outside his home.
The dedication ceremony was rescheduled several times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 10, though heavy rains threatened to force the publicized event into a small room at a senior citizens center, the 113th Precinct decided to move forward and hold the ceremony outside of the center before the rainstorm began. The ceremony and unveiling of the monument would be a constant reminder to the Griffin family of how much Aamir was loved by the community.
The drum corps, under the leadership of the director, Dennis Bush, marched in the pouring rain and led the Griffin family, along with Melinda Katz, Queens district attorney; commissioners and officers of the NYPD; New York Sanitation Department officers; New York City firefighters; the media, and onlookers to the unveiling of the memorial. The monument—a brown wooden bench with a bronze basketball in its center—sits outside the building where Aamir’s family resides, and is in close proximity to the basketball court where he met his demise.
In 2019, the South Ozone Park church Pathfinder drum corps was recommended to the 113th Precinct Community Affairs Department and was invited to play in the community Veterans Day Parade. The drum corps rendered a befitting tribute to the veterans and was recognized by the precinct for their participation.
The South Ozone Park church is proud of the spirit of volunteerism and the dedication of Naomi, Samuel, and Benjamin Jack; Deven Bush; Shamar Munroe; and the other Pathfinders who have kept the Pathfinder law by doing their honest part and are servants of God and friends to man.
—Lorraine Archie, communication secretary, South Ozone Park church