11 Sep ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO HOSTS 14TH ANNUAL SEPTEMBER 11TH REMEMBRANCE Essex Remembers Ceremony Recognizes the Lives Lost and Tragic Events of September 11, 2001
West Orange, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. hosted “Essex County Remembers,” a solemn ceremony at the Essex County Eagle Rock September 11th Memorial that marked the 14th anniversary of the tragedies in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania.
“After the attacks, people spontaneously came to Eagle Rock Reservation to view the tragedy unfold at the Twin Towers and leave cards, letters, photos and flowers in an impromptu memorial in honor of their loved ones. I knew immediately that this was the natural location for a memorial because of the public attraction to this site and the unparalleled view of the World Trade Center from the lookout area,” DiVincenzo said. “Our September 11th Memorial is a special place for people to come for solace and comfort because of its unique location and its powerful message of peace and hope,” he noted.
“We must never forget the importance of this day and remember all those who lost their lives. I encourage everyone to take time out of their day to mark the 14h anniversary of September 11th and visit this revered site,” the County Executive said.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told the audience that they cannot overlook the fact that the attacks were a criminal act and that we should remain committed to “remembering those who lost their lives that day and those who are dying today. We hope that sense of loss is not in vain,” she noted.
“Whether you lost a family member or friend, all of our lives were changed. Today we are still grieving the people no longer with us and because of today we will continue to remember them,” said Susan Rossinow, whose husband Norman lost his life in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
“When you experience severe loss, the brain replays every single moment. It lends perspective and reminds us that we need to celebrate the individuals we lost and live in their legacy,” NJ State Senator Teresa Ruiz said.
“Because of that horrific event, we will forever wonder what potential could have been fulfilled by the lives lost. It reminds us as we go about our daily tasks that we should be thankful about the sanctity of life,” former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said.
Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake rhetorically asked where everyone was that day. “Of course we all remember because of the tragedy,” she said.
“As law enforcement officers, we know that at some point we will be required to run toward the danger instead of run away. After 14 years, we are still here to reassure you that you are still as safe as you were before this horrible event,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.
United Flight Attendant Deborah Calimano noted that the response of flight crews during airplane accidents is rarely mentioned in media reports, “so at least every September 11th we get the opportunity to be recognized.” Calimano worked with the County Executive to create the Flight Crew Memorial, which recognizes the 33 pilots and flight attendants who lost their lives in the attacks.
A brief program with family members who lost a loved one in the tragedies, elected officials and clergy members from diverse religious faiths will be held at 8 a.m. Memorial wreaths will be laid at the monument and a new American flag will be raised. A string quartet will perform reverent selections of music at the memorial site after the ceremony until 2 p.m.
The Essex County Eagle Rock September 11th Memorial was dedicated in October 2002, just over a year after the attacks. Its many elements pay tribute to the men and women, police officers, firefighters and other first responders who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania and aboard the four airplanes that crashed that day. It was the only 9/11 memorial to list all 3,000 victims’ names until 2011 when the World Trade Center Memorial was dedicated. In 2009, the Essex County 9/11 Memorial was expanded to include a monument honoring the 33 flight crew members aboard the four airplanes that crashed. In 2011, a 7,400-pound steel and concrete artifact from the World Trade Center foundation was installed at the site and a bronze plaque was dedicated to honor emergency medical technicians who responded to Ground Zero and those who provided aid to people returning from New York across the Hudson River.