LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Township of Livingston held its annual memorial service on Sept. 11 at Memorial Park to remember the 12th anniversary 9/11 and the members of Livingston that were lost during that tragedy.
Rabbi Greg Litcofsky of Temple Emanuel opened the service with a remembrance prayer, followed by an introduction by Mayor Rudy Fernandez.
“We’re here to honor the memory of seven Livingston residents that were lost 12 years ago, along with the families that were touched by that tragic day. We also remember the other lives lost on September 11 and other lives that are still affected,” said Fernandez.
The seven that perished include Luke A. Dudek, Jeffrey Brian Gardner, Donald Thomas Jones II, Ming-Hao Liu, Joseph P. McDonald, John M. Pocher and Kenneth Albert Zelman.
After reading a memory poem, Township Manager Michelle Meade read each person’s name as a bell rang. At the sound of each bell toll the Livingston Girl Scouts approached the memorial sundial in pairs and placed a rose upon it. Fernandez explained that the memorial sundial represented the passing of time, “an important part of the healing process.” An eighth rose was placed to signify all the other lives that were lost on September 11.
Barry Zelman, brother to Kenneth Zelman addressed attendees and shared his personal testimony.
“Livingston has been such a good place to continue this service and honor all of those people that died with my brother. It’s such an honorable thing to know that the town he grew up in pays so much attention and I feel such a connection. I want to thank you all.”
Senator Richard Codey, Assemblyman John McKeon and Assemblywoman Mila M. Jacey also contributed to the ceremony with words of encouragement.
“Here in Livingston, you have not forgotten – you have not forgotten the families,” said Codey. “Its 12 years I’ve been here, and I hope you have me back for as long as I’m alive. Because I want to remember just like you. God bless you all.”
Also in attendance were members of the Livingston Police Department, Livingston Fire Department, Town Council and Township administration, the Livingston High School Vocal Chamber Chorus, the Livingston Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cubs.
The service closed with a Benediction from Monsignor Thomas Nydegger of St. Pholimena’s Church followed by “taps” played by Tim Griffin and daughter Gabby and “God Bless America” sung by the Livingston High School Vocal Chamber Chorus.