SOMERVILLE, NJ - Somerset County Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson, joined by her colleagues and other county officials, honored the memory of 39 county residents killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during an observance on the grounds of the Historic Somerset County Courthouse Friday morning.
One-by-one, the names of the 39 victims were read aloud by the freeholders on the steps of the courthouse on the 19th anniversary of the assault against the United States by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four commercial jetliners that fateful morning, crashing into the towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, the Pentagon in Washington, and a farm field in Somerset County in western Pennsylvania after passengers fought back and thwarted the hijackers' plan to strike the US Capitol in Washington.
Friday's ceremony then shifted to the nearby 9/11 Memorial Clock Tower on the corner of E. Main Street and S. Bridge Street where Robinson and Deputy Freeholder Director Sara Sooy placed a memorial wreath in front of the tower, which includes a steel beam recovered from the debris of the World Trade Center.
A plaque with the names of the Somerset County victims is affixed to the steel beam.
Robinson's remarks follow:
"Good morning, we stand here today, in front of the Somerset County Historic Courthouse, to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
"These attacks were not just on tall buildings, the aviation industry, or even those we are here to remember today.
"The attacks were on the United States of America, on every one of us as Americans.
"As a county, we remember and honor the lives of the 39 Somerset County residents who passed away on September 11th.
"As a nation, we remember the terrible events of that day and the thousands of people who perished at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on Flight 93. Indeed, we promised to never forget.
"We remember the valor of first responders, hundreds of whom died while trying to save others; and the many heroes who have perished since, as a result of working at Ground Zero.
"As a community and a nation, we need to remember not only the events of September 11th, but also the spirit of unity that followed. When we put aside differences for a time to console and comfort, to rally and rebuild, to stand up and strengthen.
"It is important for us as Americans to remember that we can do anything and achieve anything, no matter how huge an undertaking, as long as we do it together.
"Now I would like to ask my Freeholder colleagues to join me in reading the names and honoring the lives of our 39 Somerset County residents who lost their lives on September 11th."
The 39 residents of Somerset County who were killed in the terrorist attacks include:Kermit Anderson, Evan Jay Baron, David O. Campbell, Keith Coleman, John Collins, Brian Dale, Kevin Dennis, Stephen Dimino, William Fallon, Jr., John W. Farrell, Louis Fersini, Jr., Michael Finnegan, Christopher Forsythe, Noel Foster, Steven Genovese, Steven Goldstein, Robert John Halligan, Kevin James Hannaford, John Clinton Hartz, Christopher N. Ingrassia, Allison Horstmann Jones, Stephen Joseph, Alvin Kappelmann, Jr., Ganesh Ladkat, Matthew McDermott, Stacey Sennas McGowan, Philip Parker, Hashmukhrai C. Parmar, Ludwig Picarro, Stephen E. Poulos, Thomas B. Reinig, Sheryl Rosenbaum, Timothy Patrick Soulas, Craig W. Staub, Ronald G. Tartaro, Lance Tumulty, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, Alison Marie Wildman, Frank Thomas Wisniewski.
The terrorist attacks killed 2,996 people including the 2,977 victims - 660 from New Jersey - and the 19 hijackers who caused the attacks, according to reference.com
Of these 2,996 people, 246 people died on the airliners that flew into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. The attack on the Pentagon claimed 125 lives, and the attacks on the World Trade Center claimed 2,606. Victims at the World Trade Center included workers in the building, emergency first responders and people fleeing in the streets; 343 New York City firefighters died responding to the carnage, and 72 New York City police officers and Transit Authority police also died.
The attacks have also claimed the lives of a number of people who helped clear the wreckage afterward, as cancer and other conditions caused by toxic smoke have been taking their toll.