Monroe Township joined communities across the nation to honor the nearly 3,000 people lost from the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
The township remembered 21 years late at Memorial Tree Park on Prospect Plains Road on Sept. 11.
“On this National Day of Service and remembrance we honor the 9/11 victims, survivors and those who rose up in response to the attack 21 years ago,” Mayor Stephen Dalina said. “We gather to remember our residents and their families and those affected by the tragic events on 9/11.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, 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, Pa.
“We pay tribute to our first responders who continue to answer the call of service, each and every day for us here in Monroe Township,” Dalina said. “The New York City Fire Department lost 340 firefighters, a chaplain and two paramedics [on Sept. 11]. The New York City Police Department lost 60 officers.”
The remembrance ceremony not only honored the civilians and first responders who died that day, but those who were survivors, and those who have died and are struggling in the aftermath from 9/11 diseases attributed to responding and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site.
“Sadly, the deaths and diseases from subsequent illnesses have outweighed and outmatched the numbers of [those lost on Sept. 11],” Dalina said.
During the ceremony, Dalina read the names of those lost from Monroe. Township Council members then laid a white wreath and three blue wreaths at the 9/11 memorial monument.
The 9/11 memorial was dedicated in 2002 and each victim is represented with their name on a granite stone panel in Memorial Tree Park.
The white wreath was to symbolize the loved ones who lost their lives, while the three blue wreaths honored fire, police and emergency medical services workers.
“As our community comes together to commemorate 21 years since those tragic events, here in Monroe this has so much personal relevance as we are home to so many parents, who have unfortunately lost their beloved children in these senseless attacks,” said Rabbi Eliezer Zaklikovsky of Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe.
“We resolve to continue to show the world that each one of those precious victims is alive in our hearts and will continue to live on in us forever,” he said.