HOWELL – Although it was 20 years later, residents and officials in Howell did not forget.
On Sept. 10, municipal officials marked the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
Howell officials, police officers, firefighters and emergency services personnel gathered at the Sept. 11 memorial on Preventorium Road to honor all the lives that were lost and all of the lives that were affected by the events of that day.
Howell residents John J. Lennon Jr., Colin Richard McArthur, John Frederick Rhodes,
Joseph Sacerdote and Alan L. Wisniewski were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Police Chief Andrew Kudrick addressed those in attendance and said that 20 years ago, “the country changed. Twenty years ago this evening was the last evening for many families. Nearly 3,000 people died (on Sept. 11).
“Of those 3,000 people, 343 were firefighters, 71 were police officers and 55 were our military personnel. Five of those 3,000 people were Howell residents. Not too many towns across the United States can claim their town was affected by an act of terrorism. Unfortunately, ours, like many others in New Jersey, was one of them,” Kudrick said.
He said Howell recognizes the importance of what occurred.
“That is the reason we are here today. We did not forget, but sadly, 20 years have passed and many have (forgotten). Many of us recall the sadness and the anger we had on that day and many of the days that followed, and for many of us that anger and sorrow still exist, especially around this time.
“The world definitely has changed, for our young people who are, and the majority of my police officers, who were not around during that time. So it is important for all of us to keep the memory of that day and the events that transpired afterward,” Kudrick said.
The police chief said Sept. 11 and terrorism are on his mind every day.
“It is something that is at the forefront of my administration, especially concerning our schools. Because we know that could happen again and that is why we cannot forget,” Kudrick said.
Mayor Theresa Berger described Howell’s memorial and its symbolism.
“The memorial floor is etched with the New York skyline and each of the five cord arms is an arch that comprises the structure of the Pentagon shape, and each one represents a members of our Howell community who passed during this event. On the pillars are symbols of American freedom; the Twin Towers, the Statue of Liberty, and the bald eagle, as well as a plaque for each member of Howell,” Berger said.
The pillars of the memorial meet at the pentagon above.
“It is meant to symbolize the U.S. Pentagon and the people who were killed there. Inside the structure is a boulder from Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 crashed, and there is also a piece of the World Trade Center,” Berger said, adding that for her, “the sense of community was never stronger than the days, weeks and months following the attack.”