A Tribute To The New Jerseyans Who Perished On 9/11 And The Brave First Responders Who Rushed To Help

Babies born on September 11, 2001 are officially adults today. It’s hard to believe that the Twin Towers fell 18 years ago when I remember seeing smoke billowing from burning buildings as if it were yesterday. I remember the chaos, confusion, terror, and tremendous sadness but I also remember the heroes, hope, and a community coming together to help.

No other area of the country was hit harder outside of New York City than New Jersey. We lost 750 precious Garden State souls on September 11th and the lives of countless first responders since. We remember. There is nothing that I can say that will make the pain of that day fade away but I offer you the following words…

It was just another September morning, until everything changed. Hearts broke across the nation, shattered like glass. Though we’ll never be the same again, we’re stronger now. We carry our loved ones with us, honor those who bravely served us, and cherish every act of kindness. We will never forget those who ran towards danger, the embracing of strangers, towns taking in stranded airline passengers, volunteers who searched for survivors in the rubble, every person who donated money, time, blood.

There are memorial ceremonies across New Jersey today, in towns including Chatham (Memorial Park, 7 pm; 25-53 County Road 607), Cranford (Cranford World Trade Center Park, 6:30 pm; North Union Avenue & Springfield Avenue), Woodstown (6 pm; 26 North Main Street – run followed by ceremony), Ocean City (Ocean City Tabernacle, 6 pm; 550 Wesley Avenue), Woodbridge (9/11 Memorial Park, 6 pm; 1 Main Street), Belleville (Belleville’s 9/11 Park, 11 am; Chestnut Street & Franklin Avenue), and West Windsor (Mercer County College, 11 am; 1200 Old Trenton Road). Other towns have already held their ceremonies.

If you’re looking to visit a monument and reflect, we have several.

“September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.” —Deepak Chopra

For last year’s tribute to 9/11, click here. It features additional quotes, monument photos, and personal experiences. I also welcome you to share your experiences, memories, or the names of loved ones in the comments.