Scotch Plains Holds 9/11 Memorial Service
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 • 9:11pm
SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – At 9 am on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, a small quiet Remembrance service was held at the Scotch Plains 9/11 Memorial Monument on the Alan M. Augustine Village Green next to City Hall on Park Avenue to honor the fallen of September 11, 2001.
To begin the service, Mayor Mary DePaola brought everyone’s attention to the beautiful Memorial, commenting on how wonderful it was to have a “place of quiet reflection and reverence” in which to remember the fallen, especially the three men from Scotch Plains who lost their lives: Matthew Horning, Mark Rothenberg and James Walsh. “We can only pray for a world where differences in religion are respected and celebrated.”
Reverend John Paladino of St. Bartholomew’s Church offered up a prayer for future actions to be “not with prejudice, but with compassion.” He also expressed the hope that “we might live to see the day when swords will be turned into plow shears.”
Reverend Porter, of St. Johns Baptist Church, spoke of the fallen and how we need to remember, while at the same time be thankful for those who were saved. “I have a parishioner who was on the 93rd floor, and she feels God led her to go down the stairs on the opposite side, and she went down 93 floors and did not stop until she reached Times Square.”
Rabbi Nudell, of Congregation Beth Israel, spoke of building bridges of understanding and replacing “destructive tribalism with mutual respect,” and prayed for help to “repair our broken world with words of kindness.”
At the end of the short service, Mayor DePaola called for representatives from the Police, Fire and Rescue Squad to come forward with wreaths to lie on the memorial.
In a casual gathering after the service, Councilman Kevin Glover also pointed out the beauty of the Memorial, and emphasized that there were many people in the community who had donated time and money to make it possible. “The previous Mayor, Nancy Malool was very instrumental in making this Memorial happen, theChecchio family donated all the labor, and many business donated the various materials – I would encourage everyone to go to http://www.scotchplains911memorial.com/ and see the complete list of everyone who helped make this possible, to ensure that we do not forget.”
Fire Chief Jonathan Ellis talked about the after math, and how the Scotch Plains Fire Department sent help and volunteers, as part of the Union County collaborative effort. “They were really surprised, because New York has never needed to call for help. We do this every day, we help surrounding towns when they need it – we are all part of the brotherhood.”