James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen is in the preliminary phase of expanding their memorials to include every major war, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“We at the schools are the gatekeepers of understanding what happened on this day, 18 years ago. We look at children who are in our schools: they weren’t born yet, they weren’t alive when this event happened,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter said at the 18th annual 9/11 memorial ceremony this morning.
“It’s our job to make sure we have an understanding of what happened that day, how that changed our lives.”
The tragic loss of the World Trade Center nearly two decades ago still resonates heavily in Hudson County, where countless first responders crossed the Hudson River to help those in a serious time of need.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, a former teacher, echoed Solter’s sentiment regarding the importance of making sure younger generations understand the significance of September 11th, 2001.
“It’s important that we mark these events so they will never be forgotten, they will be educated to the memory of America this year, 50 years from now and a 100 years from now.”
DeGise also noted that he was honored to be standing with first responders, which included many members of the North Bergen Police Department and North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, since they were “the first line of defense” when tragedy struck.
State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco also reflected back on the “nightmare of a day” by honoring those local lives who were lost: Christopher Amoroso, Sal Tieri and David LaMagne.
Amoroso, a Port Authority police officer, infamously lives on through images of him saving residents from the building in the immediate aftermath of the attacks before his life was taken that fateful day.
Before becoming an A-list movie star, Jon Bernthal depicted Amoroso in Oliver Stone’s 2006 film “World Trade Center.”
Just when it appeared the ceremony was ready to conclude, Board of Chosen Freeholders Chair Anthony Vainieri (D-8) announced that the park, which already has a Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is in the preliminary stages of honoring the lives lost in other foreign wars, along with 9/11.
“We left out the Korean veterans, World War I and II, and so forth, and they came to me and said ‘can we do something for us? Can we do something for our Korean veterans here?,'” Vainieri recalled in an interview.
” … We came up with an idea of doing something right here, in this area: something like a monument that would honor every war – World War I, II, Korea, Vietnam, Pershing Gulf and we’re trying to get designs on two World Trade Center towers – like they have in Overpeck Park in Teaneck.”
Vainieri clarified that the project is still in very early negotiations and will probably be at least a year before a definitive plan is established and a request for proposals is released.