WESTFIELD, NJ — Congressman Leonard Lance, Mayor Andy Skibitsky and local clergy spoke at the Westfield’s Sept. 11 memorial service Thursday night commemorating the 13th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“This morning in Washington we observed a moment of silence,” Lance told the crowd that had gathered at Westfield’s Sept. 11 memorial. “We stood with millions of Americans across the country to remember that fateful day.”
Lance spoke of evil that exists in the world and the 20 million people in Syria and Iraq who are threatened by evil today.
“Evil existed in the world 13 years ago and evil exists in the world today,” he said.
Lance told the crowd that the United States is indispensable here and across the globe, and prayed that God guide him and others in Washington as they deliberate over what actions will be taken concerning ISIS.
In his opening remarks, Mayor Andy Skibitsky said, “It is imperative that we commemorate this day,” before he read the names of the 12 people from Westfield who died in the attacks: Andrew J. Alameno, David Otey Campbell, Michael A. Davidson, Dean P. Eberling, Stephen Mark Fogel, Thomas Glasser, Leo Russell Keene III, Richard B. Madden, John "Pepe" Salerno, See-Wong Shum, Anthony Starita and Jim Walsh.
These 12 were among the more than 700 New Jersey residents who lost their lives in the attacks, noted Lance.
“To the families, on behalf of the Westfield community, I’m so very sorry for your loss,” Skibitsky said.
Fr. Michael Saporito of the Parish Community of St. Helen, Rabbi Douglas Sagal of Temple Emanu-El, Fr. Andrew Hamersley of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Reverend Dr. Mark Boyea of the First Congregational Church of Westfield offered prayers, condolences and words of hope.
“Do not give up—we cannot give up—on hope,” Boyea said. “We must refuse to live in fear. We must also refuse to forget.”