Jersey City officials recognized the lives lost at the 22nd annual September 11th, 2001 memorial at the foot of Grand Street near Exchange Place this morning.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
The ceremony took place at the city’s 9/11 memorial, made of twisted steel beams from ground zero directly across the Hudson River.
On the day of the attacks, the area became a triage center where first responders provided aid and assistance to those who sought refuge in Jersey City. Mayor Steven Fulop thanked the first responders and those who attend the annual remembrance ceremony.
“It seems that every year, the crowd gets a little smaller, unfortunately as 9/11 fades from the collective conscious. But it’s important for cities like Jersey City and New York to make sure it stays front and center and we never forget,” he added.
Councilwoman-at-Large Amy DeGise led the pledge of allegiance before Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31), also the Democratic state Senate nominee, addressed the crowd.
“22 years ago, our lives changed. You have some amazing angels in heaven who continue to watch over you. Please remember their memories. Know that today we stand for you and with you. For all the first responders, thank you: Thank you for your sacrifice,” she said.
Craig Guy, the democratic nominee for Hudson County executive, like Fulop, also lamented that the 9/11 memorial gathering has grown smaller over the years.
“But Hudson County’s and Jersey City’s dedication to those families has not dwindled. I was with the Jersey City Police Department right here, right on this pier here, as the folks came across the river on ferries one after another,” Guy explained.
He noted that on that day, he saw a man covered in soot and blood getting off a ferry.
“We cleaned him up, we gave some first aid. He lived in Maplewood. We took that gentleman home to Maplewood. I stayed in touch with that gentleman for over 15 years,” he recalled.
Guy continued that they eventually fell out of touch, learning that he passed away due to an illness spurned by contaminants at ground zero.
“Those problems still continue. Those deaths still happen. Remember everybody that perished on that horrible day and the folks that still suffer the remnants of 9/11. I pray for the families, and I pray for the first responders.”
Council President Joyce Watterman also praised first responders and offered her condolences for the friends and family that lost loved ones on that fateful day,
“We do this every year because we want to remember what happened on our land. That’s so important when you understand what America stands for. On that day, we was invaded. But we want to remind those who try to invade us that we will not quit,” she began.
“We will not back up. The only thing that happens is when we are faced with challenges, we unite. And across this country today, we are uniting to let those know this will never happen again on our soil. We will not forget. We will remember. And we will not be violated. God bless America.”
At the tail end of the ceremony, the names of the 39 Jersey City residents who were killed in 9/11 were read by first responders.