They gathered in honor and respect

| 13 Sep 2012 | 01:41

— Sometimes the memories soften a bit, a normal occurrence as life goes on. But as the anniversary of 9/11/01 approaches and the media replays that tragic day, it all resurfaces. Listening to a tape of the last phone message from a worker trapped in the World Trade Center or a call from a terrorized passenger on one of the planes, it all comes back.
Honoring the victims and heroes of 9/11 has become the norm, no less so in West Milford, a town that lost five residents and sent its emergency workers to assist in the rescue efforts. This year was no different and as night fell over the township, residents, emergency workers, town officials, veteran organization representatives, religious leaders, musicians and military personnel gathered on the lawn in front of town hall to pay their respects.

Reverend Dr. Janet Macgregor-Williams

“This day is about more than just remembering names, it is about remembering how their sacrifice changed our lives, it is about telling the story and passing it on, from one generation to another. The children who are in fifth grade this year weren’t even born when 9/11 happened. It is also about caring for our heroes, those who risked their lives to save others. Many of them have had to deal with debilitating illness as a result of their courage.”

Mayor Bettina Bieri

“No memorial, no ceremony, no words will ever fill the void left in our hearts by the losses our nation and the world experienced at the hands of evil on Sept. 11, 2001. Nevertheless, on each of the anniversaries of Sept. 11, we will continue to show respect, dignity, love and reverence for the thousands of innocent lives lost.
"Heroes come in different forms. Many are never known to us. They are oftentimes strangers who give all they could possibly give from their caring hearts. They are our fire, first aid, police, search and rescue and emergency management personnel. These men and women courageously risk their lives, and indeed lose their lives, in an effort to save the lives of strangers.”
Rev. Macgregor-Williams concluded the ceremony with this thought: “As we gather here tonight, New York City has a tribute of light. We gather here tonight as a tribute in life, as we live lives of service and pray for peace.”