South Orange Fire Chief Jeff Markey, right, and firefighters salute during the ringing of a bell to commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Credits: Madelyn Abdalla
Alex Torpey, president of South Orange, speaks during the Sept. 11 memorial at the village firehouse. In the background is Fire Chief Jeff Markey. Credits: Madelyn Abdalla
Sept. 11 Ceremony in South Orange Honors First Responders
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 • 3:24pm
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Firefighters and police officers gathered in front of the firehouse Wednesday morning for a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony to pay tribute to the first responders who sacrificed their lives.
The ceremony commemorated the 12th anniversary of the 2001 attacks.
Village officials, family and friends of lost ones, residents and onlookers joined those in uniform for the event.
Fire Chief Jeff Markey recounted what happened on the morning that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people, including three residents of South Orange: Christopher Colasanti, Christopher Faughnan and Donald Robertson.
Markey said that around 3,000 people died that day, 343 of whom were firefighters.
“(Their deaths) were not in vain,” Markey said.
The fire department sounded a bell in three rounds of five in order to pay respects.
Village President Alex Torpey said the village conducts a memorial service every year to thank and pay tribute to the first responders.
Torpey said that it is also important to remember all those who lost their lives because they were everyday people.
“They were everyday mom and dads,” said Alyssa Aronson, a South Orange resident who attended the memorial.
The fire department’s flag is flying at half-staff for the day.
The reporter is a student participating in hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.