september 11, 2011

On Ten-Year Anniversary of 9/11, City of Newark and the State of New Jersey Reflect, Remember

Events held in Jersey City, Newark to pay tribute to the lives that were lost

NJ Governor Chris Christie at 9/11 Empty Sky Memorial in Jersey City, NJ

NEWARK, NJ - As the nation looks back on the terrible attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001, mourning the thousands of lives that were lost to those senseless acts of cowardice, the City of Newark and the State of New Jersey paid tribute to their citizens who were killed that day ten years ago.

At events held in Newark and Jersey City, hundreds of citizens and military personnel gathered together to honor the lives of those who were taken away from us that terrible day. In Jersey City, on the waterfront facing the New York City Skyline, family members of victims, state officials, and New Jersey residents came to see the unveiling of the “Empty Sky Memorial”. Also in attendance were hundreds of military personnel from throughout the state of New Jersey, as well as Major General Glenn K. Rieth, Adjutant General of New Jersey and Commander of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard.

The event also included remarks from Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez, Port Authority Chairman David Samson, and members of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation. Christie said the memorial offers a site for communal remembrance and mourning, particularly for victims’ families and friends.

“Much of their suffering has been private — horribly private,” he said. “With us today, we can share in their grief, and serve through our presence and our words to help to ease their pain and lift their spirits.”

The memorial features two large walls, perpendicular to the city to replicate the once iconic sight of the twin towers in the New York City sky. It also features a canyon between the walls, lined with stainless steel and engraved with the names of the 746 New Jersey residents killed in the attacks. The canyon narrows as it points toward the void where the 110-story Twin Towers once stood. In front of the memorial lay two crossed beams, taken directly from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. The site truly is a fitting tribute to the lives that were lost that day, as well as the glorious sight of the Twin Towers, which once stood tall in the New York sky, that was taken from all of us.

The City of Newark also held a commemoration event at the Newark Museum where dozens of firefighters, first responders, and ordinary citizens from the city gathered to pay tribute to the five Newark residents who died and the countless members of the Newark Fire Department who risked their lives helping people on 9/11. Among those who came to show their respect were Newark Fire Dept. Chief John Centanni, NYC Fire Department Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who spoke of the heroism of the Newark firefighters who went into New York City that day to help.

“Here in Newark, we saw the heroism of our men and women,” said Booker. “People who, whether they were on duty or off duty, saw that it was their duty to respond to a time when our nation was being attacked.”

Among the most poignant moments of the ceremony was the display of a special Newark Fire Truck, which has on the dashboard a bolt that was found at ground zero as Newark firefighters were searching through the wreckage. The truck was designed and constructed after 9/11, as Newark firefighters wished to build something beneficial around this small, yet profound, symbol of the horrific destruction that occurred that day.

On behalf of all of the members of The GI Go Fund, we offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks, as well as our eternal gratitude to the United States Military who has worked every day since to ensure that such mindless terror would never happen again.