North Bergen held their annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony at River View Park, with the memorial overlooking the Hudson River and New York City from Boulevard East.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
“Once again, we gather to honor the fallen victims of the September 11th terrorist attack that happened right across the river from here,” Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) Chair and North Bergen Commissioner Anthony Vanieri said.
“This is the perfect spot to do this. This is our 9/11 memorial. The County of Hudson put this together. We thank them. We’re going to try to make this a tradition at this spot at noon every year unless it lands on a Sunday.”
North Bergen Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter noted that he and his son recalled the tragedy during a car ride this morning, something that has become commonplace over the past 22 years on the anniversary.
“He just talked about how the teachers were going back and forth from the rooms, and the administrators were coming in. It was just such a different time,” he began.
“We’re charged at the board of ed with trying to make sure everyone remembers what this is all about. The children born 22 years ago are now out of college. So it’s not in the schools anymore. Only 130 staff members are left out of 8 or 900 from 9/11. So that’s something that’s a challenge to us, to keep on educating the children on … what this day is all about.”
Vanieri noted that in his prior role as county commissioner chair, he worked with Hudson County Executive Democratic nominee Craig Guy on many projects, including building River View Park and the installation of the 9/11 memorial.
“I’m really thankful to the first responders that are here. I myself was a first responder. I was a lieutenant on the police department in Jersey City and saw firsthand what happened over there on 9/11,” Guy, as the chief of staff to outgoing County Executive Tom DeGise, explained.
“It was something obviously that we had never experienced. The police departments surrounding not only Hudson County but through the whole nation didn’t know what to expect. Hudson County was proud to work with former Commissioner Vanieri to establish this solemn site.”
State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco recalled that it was another bright, sunny day 22 years ago before tragedy stuck out of nowhere.
“Feels like the same day, the weather pattern, the heat, the bright sun. And we were in total ignorance as to what was taking place. I got a call that the first plane hit one of the towers. And I thought like most of us that it was an accident,” he stated.
“Then another plane, they there were on to the Pentagon, then Pennsylvania. Then, we knew we were under attack. We missed all the signs of it … At night, there were vigils throughout the town. I drove throughout the town, stopping at various groups of people to see how things were. That was the day of the most sorrow I probably have seen in my life. All of us here have suffered through it. We have lost a number of graduates and residents.”
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.
There names were all read out loud during a moment of silence as a police officer rang a bell to recognize their ultimate sacrifice.