Ringing of the Bell, Prayers at 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony held at Memorial Park

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The names of 13 Chatham victims of the 9/11 attacks are enshrined at Memorial Park Credits: TAP Chatham
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CHATHAM, NJ - Elizabeth Stuart, ninth grader at Chatham High School, sang "God Bless America" and concluded with "Let There Be Peace on Earth" at the Chatham Borough 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony held Thursday evening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wO7UKLw3JE

The ceremony marked the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center that took the lives of 13 Chatham residents.

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Boy Scout Troop 8 raised the flag, lowered it to half mast and then led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Pastor H. Leigh Holder-Bobo of Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church offered the Blessing and Closing Prayer.

Each of the 13 victims names was read by family members, accompanied by the ringing of the bell. Flowers were placed at each of 13 memorials.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN0SoW5WYZY

The 13 victims are: Kenneth J. Swanson, William R. Tieste, Peter M. West, Donald L. Adams, Dennis Buckley, Paul S. Gilbey, Gary R. Haag, Anthony P. Infante Jr., Robin B. Larkey, Christian H. Maltby, Philip W. Mastrandrea, Peter C. Moutos and Thomas Strada.

Dan Smith, a sheetmetal worker and a Chatham volunteer firefighter, came up with the design for Memorial Park after he saw the donated steel from ground zero of the World Trade Center.

"I went down to the DPW (Department of Public Works) garage to take a look at them," Smith said after the 2013 ceremony. "It had just rained and there were these doves drinking out of a puddle. When I pulled out in my truck, it scared them and they flew away. That's how I got the idea for what the memorial should be."

Smith's vision of white doves can be seen flying between the two pieces of steel designed to represent the World Trade Center at Memorial Park.

Smith, out of local 25 in Northern New Jersey and a Chatham resident, also designed the Reasoner Park Memorial.

According to the non-profit Chatham 9-11 Memorial Foundation, Inc., Memorial Park has two beams recovered from ground zero and they are spaced 9 feet, 11 inches apart, and are positioned north and south as the Twin Towers were.

Hung between the beams are white doves in flight, "a symbol of man's soul and spirit in life," according to an informatioinal pamphlet at Memorial Park. It also states: "Througout the ages, white doves have symbolized peace, love, joy, hope and victory. These are the emotions the creator hoped to bring out of all who visited the memorial."

There is also a memorial at Reasoner Park at 1 Firehouse Plaza. These memorials were built and maintained by private donations and volunteers. To make a tax-deductable donation mail to: Chatham 9-11 Memorial Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 42, Chatham, NJ 07928.

 

 

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