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Belleville to Remember, Honor Lives Lost on 9/11


“ By: Yuritza Arroyo

Mayor Michael Melham and the Township Council are inviting residents on Sept. 11 to join with the township’s first responders to remember those lost when America came under attack 22 years ago.

According to officials, the brave members of Belleville’s police and fire departments will lead the township’s 22nd- annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. It will take place at 9/11 Memorial Park, at Franklin Avenue and Chestnut Street, on Monday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m.

Officials say the township will pause to remember three of its own residents who perished that day: Antoinette Duger, Harry Ramos, and Harvey J. Gardner III.

“We must keep these souls and all the others who were killed that day in our hearts forever,” Melham said. “9/11 Memorial Park – with two steel beams recovered from Ground Zero – is a fitting place to recall lives unexplainably cut short.”

The park’s stone marker is engraved with a quote from President George W. Bush: “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our biggest buildings. But they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

Belleville’s first responders didn’t hesitate that fateful day, dashing off toward Manhattan with the hopes of rescuing survivors from the rubble of the fallen Twin Towers. Doctors and nurses at Clara Maass Medical Center were on high alert, prepared to treat patients and help relieve overburdened hospitals in Manhattan.

“Our hearts are always heavy on this day. Together, we have a duty to pause, remember, and reflect what our community has lost,” Melham said. “Twenty-two years later, we remain shocked and saddened.”