CLARK, NJ – The Clark community gathered at the James A. Nelson Memorial Park on Friday morning to pay tribute to those lost in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The park was named for a former Clark resident, and Port Authority Police Officer who died in the attack.
The attendees of the memorial service included police, firefighters, emergency service workers, township employees, government officials, residents, and Nelson’s wife Rosanne.
Mayor Bonaccorso reminisced about the day of the attacks. “I remember how shook this whole world and this town and each and every one of us watching that whole thing unfold and what happened in the aftermath, and the sorrow and the prayers,” he said. He continued on to say that there was so much American pride then, and that “today that diminishes and that makes me very sad.”
Bonaccorso said the Clark community has, “love, respect and cherishes our first responders.”
When he invited the community to speak, 9-11 attack survivor Ed Ruth spoke first sharing his gratitude that the service continued despite the events of 2020 and thanks to all the first responders from 19 years ago and those working in today’s times too.
Retired police officer Jerry Scaturo was next to the podium using the platform to recognize first responders while touching on a topic tied to much recent public dialogue.
“9-11, heroes, fire department, police department, Port Authority, Jimmy Nelson. Could you imagine them going to those towers burning … thinking one life was more important than another?” asked Scaturo, “all lives mattered to those firemen and policemen that lost their lives…and even those that didn’t lose their lives. That is what they were about, they went there to help people. I don’t know how many people they saved, we will probably never know. But they were there to help everyone… all lives mattered to those guys.”
Scaturo ended by displaying a thin blue line flag and saying he supports the Clark Police Department.
Roseanne Nelson spoke briefly to thank all the first responders and to thank the community for supporting her and her family over the years since her husband’s death.
Matt Kane provided his vocals to the opening and closing of the event and even joined a chorus of attendees that started an additional song toward the close of the event. (See video).
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