CEDAR GROVE, NJ - The Cedar Grove community gathered to remember one of its own on Wednesday night as the Lt. Bill Fearon Memorial was unveiled at Panther Park.
More than a year in the making, the memorial at the front of Panther Park recognizes and remembers Fearon and his contributions to the Cedar Grove community and beyond. Fearon was a long-time resident and community volunteer in Cedar Grove in addition to serving as a NJ State Trooper for more than 20 years. He was also a 9/11 first responder and ultimately fell ill as a result of the countless hours he spent there. Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015, he passed away in December 2016 after a valiant battle against the disease.
Mayor Robbie Vargo opened the ceremony and recalled his personal experiences with Fearon, who was his neighbor and friend. Vargo called Fearon the "strongest man I knew" and reflected on the importance that family and community played in Fearon's life.
Fearon's son Ryan spoke for his family, remembering his father's strength and love for his family, friends, and his community. He thanked the community for the support shown to his family and noted how the memorial was a perfect reminder of his father and what he stood for in the perfect place -- Panther Park -- so he will be remembered for generations to come. He asked all in attendance to be sure to tell those they love how they feel every day because life is too short to take things for granted.
Ryan was joined by his mother Janice and his sisters Elyse and Jessie to unveil the memorial and a NJ State Trooper helicopter arrived to hover over the field and pay tribute.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.