West Milford holds 9/11 observance

WEST MILFORD. Township Mayor Michele Dale proceeded over the event.

| 14 Sep 2022 | 10:34

“Scars of 911 are forever – and so too must be our efforts be in remembering the people, the events, and the lessons they’ve left behind,” Mayor Michele Dale said on the morning of Sunday, September 11, in Memorial Park as she addressed a small crowd gathered to observe the infamous date of a terrorist attack on the United States.

The majority of those present were first responder representatives of the West Milford Police Department, ambulance corps, veterans’ organization and search and rescue units. Only two men sat in the rows of seats available to the public – the rest of the available chairs remained empty. In the years immediately following the attack, large crowds attended the annual ceremonies, but the crowd continued to get smaller.

Mayor Dale said every year for the past 21 years people across the nation have gathered in their communities and memorialized the tragic 9/11/01 event. The mayor said that as she continued to think about the number of years that have passed and the previous speeches that were delivered, the coined phase of that tragic day “never forget” kept running through her mind.

“I kept thinking what to each individual does the phrase ‘never forget’ mean, she continued. “For all of us it’s not jut a phrase to be used lightly, and it’s not isolated to a single event or an individual on that day.”

She went on to describe the meaning of “never forget” as follows. “To never forget is to consciously understand that nearly 3,000 innocent lives were wrongfully taken by a callous attack on our nation.”

“To never forget is to acknowledge the selfless courage that was demonstrated by the hundreds of emergency personnel who responded during the initial phases of the response and the thousands of first responders who came from all areas of our nation to assist in the search and recovery efforts that followed. To never forget is to honor the 343 firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to carry out the mission of every sworn firefighter. To never forget is to remember the soldiers who fought in the war on terror or the memory of a loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their life in defending our freedom in the war that followed the September 11 attack.”

The mayor went on to say the scars of September 11 are forever. She said there also must be efforts to remember the people, the events, and the lessons those people left behind.

“The days after 9/11 marked a brief but beautiful time where there was a sense of unity and love that all Americans in all walks of life felt love towards one another. We realize that we are one nation and one people who share the gift of life, freedom, hope and a common destiny, “she continued.

Mayor Dale closed by asking that when people say “never forget” the phrase stands as a testament to the world that people in the nation are Americans living in “one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.”