MONROE – In the serenity of Monroe Township Memorial Tree Park on Prospect Plains Road, the 11 names of the township residents who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks are etched in a memorial.
Mayor Gerald Tamburro read the names on Sept. 11 – Vincent Gallucci, Joseph M. Giaccone, William Fallon, Stewart D. Harris, Steve B. Lillianthal, Mark D. Rothenberg, Jeffrey D. Wiener, John G. Chipura, Pamela J. Boyce, Sal Fiumefreddo, and James K. Samuel, Sr. – as he has done during anniversaries past.
“We gather to remember our residents and their families and to pay tribute to our first responders who continue to answer the call of service each and every day in Monroe Township,” Tamburro said on the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
This year marks 18 years since the attacks, which killed close to 3,000 people when four passenger airliner planes were hijacked by al-Queda, an Islamic terrorist group. Two planes slammed into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City and one plane hit the Pentagon building in Washington D.C. Another hijacked plane, Flight 93, initially headed to Washington D.C., was thwarted by passengers and crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
“Two thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven people lost their lives going to work, doing things that we take for granted … unbelievable,” Tamburro said as he proceeded to read the numbers of people lost during the attacks. “Even today there are additional lives lost with dangerous long-term health [conditions] of this disaster.”
Council Ward 1 Vice President Elizabeth “Betty” Schneider, Councilwoman-at-Large Miriam Cohen and Councilman Ward 3 Charles Dipierro laid three wreaths – one white and two blue – around the memorial.
Schneider said the white wreath symbolizes loved ones who lost their lives and the two blue wreaths honor fire, police and emergency medical service workers.
During the anniversary ceremony, emergency vehicles sounded their sirens at 8:46 a.m. for a minute, which was the time when the first plane hit the north World Trade Center tower in 2001.
American Legion Post 522 led by Commander Jack Kirschenbaum and emergency personnel presented the colors, the Regency Chorus led by Sharon Sheckner sang patriotic songs, and Pastor Frederick Smith of Old Ship of Zion Baptist Church conducted a closing prayer.
Contact Kathy Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org.