Town Officials and First Responders Gather to Honor Montclair 9/11 Victims

Credits: Courtesy of Deputy Mayor Robert Russo
Credits: Courtesy of Deputy Mayor Robert Russo

MONTCLAIR, NJ – Deputy Mayor Russo has been instrumental in keeping the tradition alive to recognize the Montclair 9/11 victims at the Watchung Memorial.

Every year on Sept. 11, Russo gathers with a small group to recognize the nine Montclair victims. He does not do this for recognition, but as a heartfelt service to the community.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Russo explained that as mayor at that time, he went to visit the home of each victim’s family to provide support after learning of the tragedy. He added, "We raised the money for the monument pictured here (with) residents and town staff, including Denise Mayer and Rob Bianco, (who) contributed to the effort to put that nice plaque  and rock in Watchung Plaza. I asked our staff to spruce it up for this year again."

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Out of tradition and respect for the victims and families, Russo continues to recognize them as an individual even though the official ceremony is now done on the county level at the Essex County Eagle Rock Memorial.

Tuesday morning, Russo arrived at the Montclair Memorial at 8:30am to place flowers at Montclair’s local 9/11 monument and read off the names of the nine local residents lost in the World Trade Center tragedy as he has done for over a decade.  He was accompanied by Mayor Robert Jackson, Town Manager Marc Dashield and Director of Recreation and Cultural Affairs Pat Brechka as well as a large group of Montclair Police and Firefighters.

Montclair solemnly remembers the following victims of the September 11th tragedy:

Michael Collins,38, was manager at the eSpeed branch of Cantor Fitzgerald. He worked for the company for 15 years. Collins grew up in Irvington with parents James and Mary Collins, brother Richard Collins and sister Nancy Kasak. He moved to Montclair before his marriage to Lissa in 1997.

Caleb Arron Dack, 39, Vice president and director of global sales and alliances, Encompys.  Was born in Wakefield England. His family immigrated to Canada in 1970 and settled in Toronto Ontario. Dack studied molecular biology in college, but later went into computers. Dack was attending a trade show at Windows on the World on 9/11. He lived in Montclair with wife Abigail and two children.

Emeric J. Harvey, 56, founder and president of Harvey Young Yurman Inc. As a child he lived in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Harvey was attending a weekly breakfast meeting with his brother-in-law at Windows on the World on 9/11. He was living in Montclair with wife Jennifer.

Scott Johnson, 26, Born and raised in Montclair. Graduate of Montclair Kimberley Academy. In March 2000, he joined the investment banking firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. as a securities analyst. Johnson is survived by his parents, Ann and Thomas S. Johnson of New York and Montclair.

Howard Kestenbaum, 56, was senior vice president in charge of Aon Corp.'s risk analysis group. He was born in Newark and grew up in Maplewood, where he graduated from Columbia High School in 1963. Kestenbaum met his wife, Granvilette, when they were both graduate students at Columbia University. 

Robert M. Murach, 45, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. Grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Montclair with wife Laurie Murach and 2 daughters. 

David Pruim, 53, a senior vice president for the Aon Corporation. He lived in Montclair with wife Kate and their daughter. The couple was from Michigan and were introduced by friends.

Ronald Ruben, 36, had worked for seven months for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods as vice president of equity trading. Raised in Montclair, but lived in Hoboken. Ruben graduated from Montclair High School.

Michael Stewart, 42 Michael Stewart had just started a job as a senior executive at a financial trading firm, Carr Futures. He is a father of two.

A previous article about the Essex County September 11th memorial ceremony can be found here.

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