20020911 Morris County Remembers

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Tuesday December 31, 2002

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file photo by Joe Gigli

Morris County Remembers

Photos By
Joe Gigli

Morris County - (above left) Denville Residents gather for a Remembrance Service at town hall. (above right) Denville Firefighters Herb Trillich, 2nd assistant chief; and Jessie Smolin, during the service at town hall. (left) The school choir of Grace Episcopal Church, sing "Goin Up A Younder", at a Solemn Vesper Service

for Peace and Remembrance, at Saint Vincent Martyr Church in Madison. (right) Flags fly outside the Morris Plains Municipal Building and firehouse, where a Wreath was placed during the towns Remembrance service. (below) Frelingheysen Arboretum, in Morris Twp. held a Remembrance Service where they  dedicated a reflecting bench, donated by the Madison, Morristown and Somerset Hills Garden Clubs; and A young dogwood tree, donated by WESK Architecture, of Millington; that has 58 Swarovski crystal prisms, in memory of the 58 county residents who lost their lives in 9/11.

A Solemn Day to Remember

Photos By
Joe Gigli

By Jeanne Dikdan Gigli

 Can anyone forget what happened one year ago? Did anyone forget? There were countless special events and community services of remembrance undoubtedly around the nation as well as right here in Morris County.

 In Denville, uniformed firefighters and police officers

(above) Denville Mayor Gene Feyl

stood tall among the crowd of about 200 in front of the municipal building's flagpole for a brief remembrance vigil. The highlight of this event was a 12" x 12" piece of a steel beam from one of the Twin

Towers. Citizens were sure to wear their red, white and blue in some form whether a silk scarf under a blazer, a tri-color ribbon or a flag on a T-shirt.

 Mayor Gene Feyl spoke about how strong our great country has become since last year and how we must set our priorities straight. "In our remembrance, let us promise to reflect, teach and educate. We must tell the story of

the American spirit of bravery, courage and our resolve. To remind ourselves and our children that the most important things in life are not things. The most precious things are our love, compassion, faith in each other and in God."

 St. Vincent Martyr Church in Madison hosted a solemn prayer service for peace and remembrance with the congregation from

Grace Episcopal Church. The building was filled to standing room only.

   There was a 9/11 Remembrance Service in Morris Plains that began with a march of 300 people that started at St. Virgil's Church. By the time it ended in front of the municipal building, there were 600 participants.

 Eight Morris Plains police officers remember what Ground Zero was like in the early weeks and months of the recovery effort because they were there to help,

working in 12-hour shifts from November to January. To pay tribute to their fellow officers, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel who perished last Sept. 11, a huge patriotic wreath was placed in front of the municipal building.

 WESK Architecture of Millington had the right idea when they wanted to do something to give hope in a time of pain and despair. They donated a young dogwood tree to the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township in memory of those lost. Hanging on the tree were 58 leaf-shaped Swarovski crystals to memorialize the 58 Morris County residents who died Sept. 11, 2001.

Also, a granite slab park bench was donated by the N.J. Garden Clubs of Somerset Hills, Madison and

Morristown and placed next to the tree. The arboretum held a dedication and remembrance ceremony on Wednesday so they'll always remind people of those lost in the tragedy.

Although one year has passed, this writer is still trying to come to grips with the entire event and its implications. Why would anyone do such a horrific act at the cost of thousands of innocent lives? I don't understand what kind of culture rejoices in the face of evil and destruction. It goes against everything America is. It breaks my heart to know that so many died such a despicable death whether they were on one of the hijacked planes, in the towers or Pentagon, or a rescue worker just doing their job. It brings tears to my eyes that because of those deaths, thousands of children are without their mothers or fathers.

Yes, one year has passed and we as a nation have learned many things. We have seen the resiliency of the American spirit of

compassion, support and love. We have learned to focus on the truly important things in life. We are no longer split among ourselves as White, Hispanic, Native American, African-American or any other ethnic group we are one people, American people who are now stronger, more faithful and more united than ever before. God bless America!

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