Friday, 11 September 2020 22:05

Mario’s Classic Auto Body, Paterson, NJ, Firefighters Remember 9-11

Written by Steve Lenox, TAPinto Paterson
Mario’s Classic Auto Body, Paterson, NJ, Firefighters Remember 9-11 Steve Lenox


As the nation comes together for the 19th annual commemoration of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one local business continued to memorialize the nearly 3,000 Americans, including Paterson, NJ's Kenneth Lira, who went to work in the Twin Towers and never returned home.

For Mario Tommolillo, longtime owner of Classic Auto Body, the desire to honor those lost on that tragic day was a choice between making a financial donation or doing something “more permanent.”


Before the first anniversary of the attacks came, the entire side of Tommolillo’s building had been transformed into a full color mural, designed and created by local artist Paws, that depicts the events of the unforgettable day, and perhaps more importantly, the solidarity that came to be in the hours, days and weeks that followed.


Like Tommolillo, Paws, who had only just moved to Paterson when the attacks took place, wanted to create a mural to make sure that “no one would ever forget about that day.”


Like much his work, and all art, Paws told TAPinto Paterson previously, the meaning of a piece is in the eyes of the beholder. This particular project,  which took him two weeks to create with dozens of cans of spray paint, he continued, is meant to “raise consciousness” and help those who see it understand “why we do what we do.”

“How can we make the world a better place, and protect ourselves from evil,” Paws hopes viewers will ask themselves.


Tommolillo admitted he was a little skeptical when Paws first climbed the ladder and started marking up the, until then, yellowish wall with gray spray paint, a concern that quickly dissipated as the artist’s vision came life in a variety of colors. All he wanted, he said of his desire to commission the work, was a piece that gave attention to first responders, and depicted the hands of God.


And, with nearly two dozen Paterson firefighters, as well as Mayor Andre Sayegh, Councilman Luis Velez and several more members of the community paying their respects to the lost lives at the site of the mural Sept. 11, both were evident.


We thank TAPinto Paterson for reprint permission.

Read 984 times