PARSIPPANY, NJ - Morris County remembered the victims of the most horrific act of terrorism to strike our country since Pearl Harbor. The Sherriff, County Freeholders and Administrators presided over a ceremony that honored the County's 64 victims of 9/11 at a remembrance tonight, Sunday September 8th. The ceremony took place at the September 11th Memorial on West Hanover Avenue in Parsippany.
Freeholder Heather Darling read the names of the 64 victims, along with Freeholder Mastrangelo. Filled with emotion she said, "I have been attending the County's 9/11 remembrance ceremony for the last five years. It never gets easier to hear the list of names of the people who were lost on on that fateful day, September 11th 2001. Each person meant everything to someone. In spite of the tremendous loss our nation experienced as a whole and the many families who very personally suffered on that day, the stories of the people who come to speak at this remembrance each year are filled with hope and love. None of them speak of bitterness or evil. Each of them speaks of a new and positive mission in their own lives which has come forth after the destruction."
Flag bearer, Expedito C. Santillan, father of the late Maria Theresa Santillan of Morris Plains, who perished on 9/11 led the procession. Santillan led the color guard as well as police, fire, rescue and emergency personnel to the 9/11 memorial.
The observance included the Presentation of Colors from the Morris County Police, Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services. The National Anthem was conducted by the Morris Choral Society and the Invocation was given by Pastor Sidney Williams of Bethel Church of Morristown. Bethel Church also sang "America the Beautiful".
Welcome and Remarks were given by Freeholder Director Doug Cabana and Morris County Sheriff Jim Gannon.
Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo lit the remembrance candles.
Alison Crowther and Honor Crowther Fagan, the mother and sister of Welles Crowther who gave his life to save others at the World Trade Center on 9/11, spoke at the event. Crowther became known as the “Man in the Red Bandana’’ for the red handkerchief he wore as a protective mask while taking on the role of rescuer. His story has been told in the documentary film, Man in the Red Bandana. His mom gave the Brooklawn middle-schoolers a presentation on her son's heroic actions last year.
“It is an honor to have the Crowther family at the Morris County 9/11 Remembrance this year,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “We gather at the county memorial each year on the anniversary of 9/11 to recall every single one of the nearly 3,000 innocent people who were lost to our nation that day, like Welles Crowther, and that includes 64 of our Morris County residents, plus so many police, fire, EMT and other rescue workers.
“We want their families and friends to know their loved ones are not forgotten, that we will never forget their sacrifices,’’ Freeholder Cabana added.