HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Residents and dignitaries of Hasbrouck Heights gathered Friday night at the Firemen’s and 9/11 Memorial on the Boulevard to remember the lives lost on September 11, 2001, during the annual 9/11 Memorial Program.
About 40 members of the community turned out for the annual service. The program included speeches from Mayor John “Jack” DeLorenzo, Pastor Eric Dammann of Bible Baptist Church, Fred Patak, worshipful master of the Euclid Lodge, and David Meredith, Chaplain of the Euclid Lodge. Conchita Parker led the participants in the "Star Spangled Banner" and closed with "God Bless America."
DeLorenzo welcomed the crowd, and thanked the police department, fire department, and DPW for their assistance in the program.
“We must never forget the attacks on the Pentagon or the innocent victims of flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and of course, right across the river, at the World's Trade Center. We must make sure that our children and their children never forget what happened that day," he said. "They must be made aware that there are those in this world that want to destroy our way of life. We must remember the bravery of police officers, firefighters, emergency service workers, and everyday citizens who helped others and saved lives. We need to keep in mind that American spirit and how we all stood together in the face of adversity and that America is good."
"And that even when we may stumble, we will never surrender; we will never be defeated,” Delorenzo continued. “In Hasbrouck Heights, we respect our police officers, our firefighters, our emergency service workers, and our military. We appreciate what they do to keep us safe every day. We respect our way of life and our freedom. We take a moment today, and we pray for those folks and family members who are still suffering from the effects of the attack on America 19 years ago today.“
Dammann delivered the Invocation and reflection to participants.
“The significance of 9/11 to me is bringing a country together," he said. "Before I was a Pastor I was in construction, and I was down at Ground Zero. It just showed me the greatness of a people amidst a tragedy."
"This is America, we come together in tragedy, and what a shame it is that it takes a tragedy for us to come together,” Dammann explained to TAPinto. “If the small towns forget then everybody will forget. If we forget our past we are doomed to repeat it so it is good to remember. Even God and his word says remember.”
Patak addressed the crowd on behalf of the Euclid Lodge.
“I think especially being in proximity to the attacks or at least the NY attacks i think it really impacted a lot of people that not only from the visual aspect of it being so close to home I think Hasbrouck Heights is such a small loving community that it sometimes forgets how much a part of America and the larger world is right next door and can really impact us so quickly and going from a very simple life of living in a smaller town and just kind of acknowledging that you live close to a big city to being so close and realizing how many people around you actually work in that big city next door is you know a little bit dramatic on the mind,” he explained to TAPinto.
Patak was succeeded by the deliverance of the Benediction by Meredith.
When explaining 9/11’s personal significance, Meredith told TAPinto, “I worked in Hoboken the day of the attack and watched the second plane hit the buildings. I also worked at ground zero through the entire recovery and cleanup. It’s got quite a big impact on my life as well as many.”
Meredith additionally acknowledged and thanked Heights Flower Shoppe for their donation of the white wreath that stood beside the World Trade Center beams on display at the circle.
The Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department participated in the event, with their Honor Guard displaying flags throughout the ceremony.
“[It is important the Hasbrouck Heights memorializes 9/11 because] It’s just like Pearl Harbor or any other holiday. Great sacrifice of people’s lives and thousands of first responders were killed that day. It’s something that we need to carry on as a tradition for future generations to know what kind of sacrifices the police, fire, or EMS make for their country,” David Gumbrecht, HHFD Chief, told TAPinto.
The HHPD was also present, with Chief Michael Colaneri, Detective Ian Robertson, and Captain Joseph Rinke in the crowd helping to block traffic.
For other members present from the Euclid Lodge, the 9/11 Program had a very personal meaning.
Paul Remenschneider of the Lodge shared that his uncle, Christopher Wodenshek, a former Wood-Ridge resident, passed away in the North Tower.
“That was basically the day our family changed. My Uncle was killed in the North Tower," he said. "It was a change in the thought process of this country as to how we see ourselves as being secure, which facilitates how we are today.”
For Ed Nanola, Entered Apprentice of the Lodge and U.S. military veteran, the 9/11 attacks impacted his service for the United States.
“For me, I have a lot of family that was affected by stuff like this, and I joined the service because I wanted to make a difference. I met a lot of people that have the same passion and the same reason to join: they wanted to give back,” Nanola said. “I met a lot of people my age in Iraq, or Afghanistan all the same reason for joining. I saw people that passed away. I served in Afghanistan for fourteen years now, I served in Iraq in 2007.”
All Abilities Live streamed the program which can be found here: https://www.allabilitieslive.com/borough-of-hasbrouck-heights/videos/memorial-vigil-of-the-19th-anniversary-of-september-11-2001
Emily Condon, Nicholas Valle and Alexa LaFaso are seniors at Hasbrouck Heights High School. They are staff members on the school's award-winning student newspaper, The Pilot's Log.
TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge and Teterboro’s free daily news source, and is the official newspaper of the Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education, Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council, and Wood-Ridge Board of Education.