Reproduced from The Record

Saturday, September 10, 2005

by Michael J. Wildes, Mayor, City of Englewood

2-10 N. Van Brunt Street

Englewood , NJ 07631



Vigils, Memorials, Prayers Mark 9/11 in North Jersey

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Towns throughout North Jersey will commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks Sunday in many ways, from groundbreakings and dedications of memorials to somber candlelight vigils and stirring patriotic concerts.

Just as there are a variety of remembrances scheduled, there are also many views on how to observe that day in 2001 when nearly 3,000 people were killed by terrorists at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

Some feel that services should reflect solely on 9/11 and those lost that day, while others believe that remembrances also should address how the world has changed as a result of the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

The Rev. Randall Day of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Teaneck said that Sunday should be a time to reflect on Sept. 11, 2001, and the current events that stemmed from the terrorist attacks, such as the war in Iraq.

"The observances, to have impact, need to take account of everything that's happened since," Day said. "That's how the remembrances have power and meaning."

Day and other Teaneck clergy will dedicate a peace pole on the Municipal Green at 3 p.m. The message, "May Peace Prevail," is inscribed on the 8-foot, metal pole in eight languages representative of the township's past and current residents: Leni-Lenape, Dutch, English, Hebrew, Swahili, Arabic, Spanish and Korean.

"It's an absolutely critical prayer, as the world has become more stressed with violence and war,'' Day said.

In Englewood, Mayor Michael Wildes plans to mention Hurricane Katrina during his city's service, which will include a processional, readings and bagpipes. The ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. on the lawn of the library.

The memorial also is honoring the city's emergency service members, Wildes said. Six Englewood firefighters are in Louisiana helping with Katrina recovery efforts. City firefighters also helped at Ground Zero after 9/11.

"It ties in," Wildes said of the hurricane. "These are two of the greatest tragedies in the history of our nation. It bodes well to remind us of the solidarity of all Americans."

Others plan to keep the focus on the events of Sept. 11.

"We've all been working here in Allendale [to aid the hurricane victims], but to me Sept. 11 is unique and different," said borough resident Vince Barra, who lost his brother-in-law in the attacks. Barra chaired the borough's 9/11 memorial committee.

Allendale will hold a candlelight vigil and flagpole dedication at 6 p.m. at the Sept. 11 Memorial at Crestwood Lake.

"Sept. 11 to me was an act of man's inhumanity to man, and that's what has always stuck with me," Barra said. "I would hope that every year our ceremony is going to be very simple, just to reflect."

Jill McGovern of Wyckoff, who lost her husband, Scott, in the attacks, will attend a local memorial ceremony and then participate in a Katrina fund-raising drive she started with her sister and brother-in-law. She said it's a perfect way to honor her husband's memory.

Loretta Viglione of Morris Plains, however, will steer clear of relief efforts Sunday.

"I am in favor of helping the Katrina victims, but please, let's keep the events separate," said Viglione, who lost her firefighter brother, Thomas Sabella, on 9/11.

Several towns, including Paramus and Wayne, are not holding official memorials this year. Paramus Mayor James Tedesco said it was better now for residents to decide for themselves how to reflect on the anniversary.

Wayne resident Judy Glick, who lost her husband, Barry, said she feels insulted and frustrated that her town is not holding a remembrance and has yet to construct a Sept. 11 memorial.

"To me, a huge measure of disrespect has been demonstrated to those that have lost family members, as well as the community of Wayne," Glick said

Wayne Mayor Scott Rumana said that with many events already scheduled in the area, including an interfaith service at William Paterson University, he did not want to schedule another. He said plans are in the works for a memorial.

Fair Lawn and Harrington Park, meanwhile, will be breaking ground on memorials Sunday. Fair Lawn's ceremony is at 1 p.m. at Borough Hall, Harrington Park's is at 5 p.m. at Highland Field.

Fair Lawn's memorial will consist of a free-standing red brick wall with plaques that memorialize the three borough residents who died on 9/11, and the first responders who sacrificed their lives to save others.

The Harrington Park monument will be 20 feet in circumference and centered around a flagpole. A plaque honoring the three borough residents who died will be placed on the monument.

River Edge is dedicating a memorial garden at 1 p.m. on the south lawn of its library. The garden has five individual areas and stones, one for each resident who died.

Passaic County is holding its traditional reading of the names of all 3,000 who perished in the terrorist attacks. The ceremony will be at Lambert Castle in Paterson at 3:30 p.m. An interfaith service will follow. Thirty county residents died on 9/11, county officials said.

Bergen County held its observance on Friday so that friends and family of the 147 county victims would not have to choose between local and county services Sunday.

Leila Negron of Bergenfield, who lost her husband, Peter, said that no matter how towns choose to commemorate the fourth anniversary of 9/11, the important thing is that people stop what they're doing, wherever they are, to remember those lost and the families and loved ones who remain.

"The fact that something so tragic happened, and so many people gave up their lives to help people, I think public remembrances are important," Negron said. "I think it's an honor also for the children left behind."




Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes, Claudia Colbert, Treasurer