SPARTA, NJ – Remembering the tragedy of 9/11, Sparta Elks and members of the community gathered in the Elks Lodge on the boardwalk. They have held a ceremony of remembrance each year since the first anniversary, was written by Past District Deputies Pete Appaluccio and Anthony Alfonso.
Chaplain Lowell Carhart opened with a prayer. Exalted Ruler, Christa Considine, Leading Knight Peter Appaluccio, Loyal Knight John Considine and Lecturing Knight Kevin Kuhner each spoke of the events from the four podiums of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity.
Three additional speakers added to the ceremony.
Joan Kuhner, Sergeant of Arms, told the story of the sacrifice of John Perry, New York City Police Officer from the 40th Precinct.
Rose Harhart, Keeper of the Door told the story of the Fire Fighter Chaplain Rev Michael Judge who lost his life serving firefighters in the ruins of the fallen towers.
Jodi Steirnweis, Esquire, spoke of the hero civilians on Flight 93, the plane that went down in a field in Shanksville, PA. Choosing to take action, they are credited with saving the lives of countless others in Washington DC.
The ceremony ended with a candle lighting and closing prayer.
Two young girls who attended with their family asked to sing. Everyone gathered in a circle to sing the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Pleased that there were more people in attendance this year, Considine said, “We want the community to know we are here.”
The Elks support many community efforts including the July Fourth Parade and scholarships for local high school seniors. They hold numerous fundraising events such as the Polar Plunge to support these efforts as well as outreach to Camp Moore, toy collection, TOP Soccer and more.