With over 250 residents in attendance, the magic of the ceremony started during the pledge of allegiance with multiple hawks circling over the flag as if they were performing a fly-over to pay their respects. Mayor Michael Frances thanked the dignitaries from the Sussex County Commissioners (Anthony Fasano and Sylvia Petillo), the entire Borough of Hopatcong Council members, Fire and Police Departments, Rescue Squad, CERT, and Scouts.
Councilman Bradley Hoferkamp who recently received a Certificate of Recognition from the FBI on the work he provided during 9/11, Councilman Hoferkamp spoke about the 9/11 artifacts within Fireman’s Park and his experiences as a first responding FBI agent in the NYC office.
Councilwoman Dawn Roberts spoke as a Gold Star Mother on the impact that 9/11 had on her son Michael who was only 14 years old at the time, as he stated, “this can never happen again.” It was only four years later that he enlisted in the Army never to return home again. In conclusion, she thanked the military for living up to selfless acts to “never letting this happen again.” And asked for a kinder and gentler nation bond together without judgment as she carries forward her son’s legacy.
Judi Wolff from the Hopatcong EMS described the role that she and several others provided during the 9/11 aftermath as they were staged to bring supplies into NYC and to help bring wounded out to a staged triage facility in Meadowlands. Judi remembers the day she was selected to respond to NYC, and her son 11-year old Jason saying, ”Mom you have to go… this is what you are trained for.” Judi further described what it was like being staged at ground zero, and what the team experienced in the thick ash, war-torn appearance, and empty fire trucks from the fire-fighters that went into the building never to return. She concluded by asking for our nation to return to a kinder and friendlier temperament, and to remember the sons and daughters that will never return.
Flight 11 Verbal Re-enactment:
|The Borough of Hopatcong provided a heartfelt verbal re-enactment of the 9/11 calls from the first flight 11 out of Boston as the plane stewardess learned of the high-jacking and called back into American Airlines to provide valuable information to help authorities understand the threat, after relaying the information the lines went dead as the plane crashed into first to the twin towers at 08:46 AM.|
Sussex County Commissioner and past Mayor of Hopatcong Sylvia Petillo provided more background of the different artifacts within Fireman’s Park, and Mayor Francis concluded the ceremony by talking about the latest addition of the 9/11 Survivor Tree from ground-zero.
Special thanks to the planning of the borough, coordination from Cathy Millian Recreation Director, and the DPW for making this a memorable event for the residents of Hopatcong.
Let us take this time to remember…
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