Bergen County paid tribute on Friday to the 147 county residents who were among the nearly 3,000 who perished on Sept. 11, 2001.
A solemn ceremony was held at the county’s 9/11 memorial in Overpeck Park in Leonia.
“Their loss has forever changed us and the communities we live in,” said County Executive Jim Tedesco, himself a 9/11 first responder as a member of the Paramus Fire Department. “We must continue to honor the memory for all those who died that day.”
Tedesco opened the annual ceremony, one of many that took place throughout North Jersey, to remember that tragic day 19 years ago. About 40 people came to the park for the remembrance on a warm, sunny afternoon.
Six people took turns reading the names of the victims as violin music played. Flowers were laid at the memorial for each of the names.
One of them was Susan Huie, a Fair Lawn resident, whose name was among those read by her brother Gordon Huie, who had served as a rescue worker that day.
“I am a survivor, I was there. I’m a rescue worker, I was there. And more importantly, I’m a family member for my sister Susan,” Huie said.
The Rev. Gregory Jackson, pastor emeritus of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, read passages from “Night” by Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel, and said, “May we never forget what happened on 9/11. May we never forget our neighbors who went to work on that day — it was such a normal day — and who paid the ultimate price.”
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Elsewhere in Bergen County, Oakland, Demarest, Dumont and Mahwah were among the municipalities holding ceremonies.
In Ridgewood, Frank DelVecchio, a former Fairview police chief, set off on his annual 26-mile bike-run to Ground Zero to honor first responders and raise money to aid homeless causes and food pantries.
“Every year this is a way of giving back and a way to do something to make sure we remember the fallen, especially police, firefighters, EMTs and all the people who perished as heroes,” said DelVecchio, who is now the director of Bergen County Communications Center.
“It not only raises money to help others, but also reminds people who might otherwise go about their day and not think about what today is.”
For more information, visit runforhopefoundation.org.
Ricardo Kaulessar is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.