A memorial dedicated to the victims of 9/11 was unveiled in North Bergen across from James J. Braddock Park, at the corner of 79th Street and Boulevard East, during a ceremony flanked by local and county officials.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
“This is something Hudson County had planned for a while. One year or 21 years, it doesn’t matter, we did it,” Hudson County Board Commissioners Chair Anthony Vainieri, also the chair of the county Democrats, said during the ceremony.
“We were all Americans that day. We all came together for one purpose. We never forget, and those words are going to be inscribed here forever. We haven’t forgotten.”
“It was a hell of a lot nicer day 21 years ago,” Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise said, noting the heavy rain.
“From the tip of North Bergen, all the way down to the tip of Bayonne in the south, people lined the Palisades to watch it. Maybe that’s why we take it a little more personally than other people would.”
DeGise noted that afterwards in Hoboken, there was a board with photos of locals that were still missing or had lost their lives.
“It looked like a high school year book. The people that were lost that day overwhelmingly were young people with their lives in front of them. The day after that … every American was locking arms with their neighbor to make sure our democracy was safe. It’s a beautiful, understated monument that will withstand the test of time.”
Other dignitaries in attendance included Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez, Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (both D-32), North Bergen Commissioners Julio Marenco, Allen Pascual, Frank Gargiulo, and Hugo Cabrera, North Bergen Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter, and state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco.
“We all lost so many people. That day was absolutely horrendous. This day is very different. When the second [tower] was hit, we knew we were under attack. That day, we lost our cell phone communications. Our phones went down,” Sacco recalled.
“We had to use landlines to stay in contact. I left my home and came down here. We were all standing there and looking at one tower that was left burning.”
He added that officials though this was an appropriate place for the 9/11 monument since “many people were standing here that day to see what was going on.
The monument includes two, 12.5-foot black granite towers and has the names of the 155 Hudson County residents who were killed on 9/11.
On September 11th, 2001, four North Bergen residents perished: Christopher Amaroso, Robert Cirri, and David LeMagne – who were Port Authority police officers – along with Sal Edward Tieri.