Dear Editor:

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the crash of Flight 93, and the Pentagon. A day that changed the course of history and continues to influence the myriad aspects of our daily lives, even as we approach nearly two decades later.

We continue to mourn the lives of those from our community who were lost that day, and we continue to revere the work of all First Responders, particularly those who did not cower in the face of terror on that day. Despite the grave losses, Americans carried on.

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The loss of life was inconceivable at the time, and it is with a very heavy heart that we must recognize 2020 as another such devastating year. As the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 nears 200,000, our grief is beyond measure, but nonetheless, we carry on. And, as we did in the days after the attacks, this community continues to support one another.

Your generosity to local food banks is welcome and much needed; your offers of support to your elderly or medically vulnerable neighbors is a godsend; and your continued observation of mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing is a blessing. Thanks to your cooperation, the Westfield Board of Health reports no new cases of COVID in Fanwood this month. As bad as this pandemic is, we are working together to limit the pain, and we are carrying on.

20 years from now, how will 2020 be remembered? 

It is my hope that this episode of history will spark a new era of shared sacrifice and commitment to the larger community. The evidence before me is that Fanwoodians will live up to my hope, and I pray that the entire nation will do the same. A lofty prayer I know, but not beyond achieving.
With great hope for our future,

Colleen Mahr
Mayor of Fanwood