River Edge Remembers 9/11 First Responders through Memorial Dedication
After receiving a steel I-beam 11 months ago, River Edge officially dedicated its First Responder's Emergency Memorial outside of Borough Hall
Eleven years have passed since the World Trade Center towers came down and River Edge lost five residents. It's been 11 months since a steel I-beam from one of the towers was brought to the borough for a First Responder's Memorial outside of borough hall - the Memorial was dedicated Tuesday afternoon as residents, friends, family and volunteers crowded together in memory.
"FDR referred to Dec. 7, 1941 as a 'date which would live in infamy' and Sept. 11, 2001 is our generations Dec. 7," River Edge PBA member and Police Officer Joseph Starost said. "Everyone remembers where they were when they heard about the attacks, know someone who died or someone who was impacted by it. This steel is a symbol, a stark reminer of what happened that day."
On a rainy Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011 members of the River Edge police, fire, volunteer ambulance and DPW traveled down Rt. 4 to JFK Airport and back to retrieve a steel I-beam from the World Trade Center that was donated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the memorial to remember all first responders that were at Ground Zero the day of and the many days after Sept. 11, 2001.
"This is so we may try to remember the heroic efforts of the first responders before, during and after the attacks, who continue to put one foot in front of another," Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo said. "For the first responder's children who will graduate high school and college without a parent to congratulate them, for the daughters who will walk down the aisle without a father, the sons who won't have a mother to cheer them on from the sidelines, the sisters and brothers who can not communicate and finish one another's sentences. Let this monument satnd for the silent acknowledgement of the first responders who survived emotional and physical scars and acknowledge in some small part the loss of many. This monument is our simple way to say 'we will never forget your sacrifice.'"
The Memorial was completely funded through donations and the PBA, was designed by local business Let It Grow where the 16-foot long steel I-beam runs vertically to display the cut out cross outside of borough hall.
The cross, which was not made for any religious significance, was created when workers at Ground Zero were removing the beams and cut out a cross for each victim's family.
"Sept. 11 had a direct impact on the community as River Edge lost friends, neighbors, family members," Police Chief Thomas Cariddi said. "River Edge dedicates this memorial to remember the over 400 first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2001 and further remember those that give each and every day."
While the First Responder's Memorial is intended as a quiet space to honor all police, fire and EMS volunteers, the families of Jennifer Fialko, Todd Ouida, Scott Rohner, Christopher Allingham and Bon Seok Koo will continue to quietly remember their loved ones at the Sept. 11 Memorial Gardens outside of the Public Library.