MILLBURN, NJ - 15 years after the attacks on the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, and the World Trade Center in New York, Millburn Township gathered in Taylor Park (Millburn) to honor the lives that were lost and also to celebrate the lives saved by the courageous efforts of firefighters, police officers and brave citizens.
After Township resident Mary McNett opened the ceremony, a wide array of speakers came to the stand, bringing both smiles and tears to the audience. Millburn resident, Alicia Cuomo, presented her poem, which recognized and honored the lives lost during the 2001 attacks.
Mayor Ted Bourke related a personal story in his speech, reflecting on family and the community, as firefighters, police officers, local leaders and Township members remembered that tragic day. Bourke read the names of the residents Millburn lost on 9/11; Tommy Clark, Mark Charette, Steven Lillianthal, Richard Madden, Patrick Murphy, Don Peterson, Ian Schneider, and Frank Spinelli.
Retired Elizabeth, NJ Firefighter James Clark shared his memories of September 11. Even though Clark served in Union County, he and his fellow firefighters were called upon by the New York Fire Department to assist the City. This was “jaw dropping” Clark said about that time because the FDNY is the largest fire department in the world with about 10,200 uniformed firefighters.
Deputy Mayor Ian Mount closed the ceremony with a few words of his own. Here is an excerpt from speech.
“This wonderful community of ours, the Township of Millburn, a truly exceptional American community, remains one of the most desirable places in the world to live not because of our homes, or our cars, or our educational opportunities, or our financial security, but because of the freedom we have to strive for and attain those things, our freedom to think and speak freely, our freedom to worship how we choose and our freedom to join together as a unified community to ensure that these freedoms we have are never taken for granted. It is easy to lose sight of this core truth as we go about our daily routine so it is my hope that we can use this solemn occasion in some small way to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are to be Americans and how fortunate we are to be a part of the Millburn/Short Hills community.”
The ceremony included music from Chatham Brass Ensemble, the national anthem sung by Millburn High School’s Soulfege, and bagpipes.