‘We must teach the new generation what it means’

West Milford. Solemn ceremony in West Milford remembers Sept. 11, 2001.

| 16 Sep 2021 | 11:22

After West Milford Council President Ada Erik asked those at the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday morning to “Never forget 9/11,” Councilman Michael Chazukow asked that they also consider: “What does it mean to never forget.”

“For the people of my generation before 9/11 we had only heard that phrase for remembering Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination,” said Chazukow. “We are never really able to fully appreciate what it means to never forget – because we never really knew until then. We must teach the new generation who didn’t see it, and who weren’t there, what it means.”

‘United with the desire to do something’

This may be difficult to imagine if one wasn’t there – especially with the amount of division currently running rampant across the nation. On that fateful day 20 years ago there were no Democrats or Republicans, Black, Blue or whatever color lives; gay or straight; mask or anti-mask supporters.

“We were all Americans united with the desire to do something,” said the councilman. “The events of Sept. 11 transformed our entire nation and touched each of our lives. Twenty years after the deadliest terrorist attack ever carried out on American soil we remember the nearly 3,000 innocent lives that were taken. We are joining together to mourn their loss, to remember their lives and to embrace their legacy.”

The toll continues even 20 years on

Eric focused not only on the death and destruction suffered by the united States and its people on 9/11/2001 but included information about the multitude of continuing illnesses and deaths related to cancer and other life threatening illnesses and deaths that still continue today.

She reminded those present that toxins from the rubble of the former World Trade Center still contribute to serious ailments and deaths of the survivors who were in the towers or towers area that day. She said also affected are thousands of civilians who volunteered with the cleanup or returned to work in the downtown area. She repeated the numbers of people who died or were affected and still continue to suffer. Eric’s details about the attack on the nation were staggering.

Erik and Chazukow read the names of the victims and held a moment of silence. The Rev. Steve Wolosin, pastor of The Freedom Church in Oak Ridge offered opening and closing prayers.

The West Milford Police Department representatives presented a wreath in honor of the victims. Bag pipe music was by Pipe Major Joseph Smolinski and Pipe Major Madison Babcock. Mia Grizzuti led singing of the National Anthem and Cindy Taylor sang “America the Beautiful.”