UPDATE: The Jersey Shore Remembers 9/11
Events held throughout the day in Monmouth and Ocean counties to commemorate 10th anniversary of 9/11
In Holiday City, Toms River and elsewhere, Jersey Shore residents remembered, cried and came to terms with what happened 10 years ago, when 3,000 people - some of them local, others not - perished at the hands of terrorists.
A large crowd gathered at Holiday City at Berkeley's Clubhouse 2 for a ceremony to honor those who were lost during the attacks of 9/11.
Berkeley Mayor Jason Varano addressed the audience and said although the tragedy was horrific, it united the country.
"While the loss was great beyond description... we came together to support each other during those terrible days," Mayor Varano said. "We didn't let terrorism bring us to our knees."
The Central Regional High School band performed songs such as "God Bless America," and those in attendance displayed their patriotism by waving their American flags.
A moment of silence was held at 1 p.m. to remember all those who lost their lives, and bag piper Steven Heaney played "Amazing Grace," bringing tears to many eyes.
A granite monument was also unveiled next to the flagpole outside the clubhouse, on the corner of Port Royal Drive.
The monument reads, "In memory of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001: World Trade Center, Pentagon - United Flight # 93."
The cost of the monument was paid for with donations from the Holiday City bingo club.
In Wall, local politicians, residents and emergency workers at noon
gathered for a short ceremony at town hall on a hill between two maple trees where a memorial had been designated for the township
residents killed in the attacks a decade ago.
“As we think back to that day and the days that followed that event it
brings back the full, and stark reality of a time and of places that
will never be forgotten by all those who lived through that dark day,
and the days that followed,” Mayor Ann Marie Conte said.
In Lake Como, a road race took a solemn turn on Saturday during the 9th Annual Fallen Heroes 5K Run.
The race serves to honor the memory of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks and also benefits several charitable groups. Nearly 600 runners registered for the race, which began at Bar Anticipation and wound through the borough streets.
On Sunday morning in Manasquan, the 10th anniversary was marked at the annual Classic Longboard Contest at the borough's Inlet Beach. The surfing event kicked off with a traditional, Hawaiian paddle-out ceremony, where surfers paddle their boards out, form a circle and then throw flowers into the water.
The Rev. Maria B. Sanzo, assistant rector of St. Mary's By the Sea, Bay Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, paid tribute to the victims of Sept. 11th and their families who have had to push forward without them.
During the Sunday morning service, Sanzo also paid tribute to members of local emergency response units and representatives from the armed services who were honored during the service.
"Day after day, they go to work so the world can be a better place," Sanzo said.
The Rev. C. John Thompson-Quartey, church rector, who is known in the church community as "Father John," had representatives from police, fire, first aid and military services in Point Beach stand with him on the altar as spiritual and patriotic songs were sung.
He presented each representative with a prayer card and Sept. 11th medal and hung each medal, with a red, white and blue ribbon, around the necks of each representative.
In Lacey, the Lanoka Harbor Fire Company held a dedication ceremony for its 9/11 memorial, a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.
Toms River held a Sept. 11 Memorial Ceremony this morning at the corner of Robins and Washington streets.
There are also several events slated for this evening throughout the Jersey Shore.
Although it was a day or remembrance and sadness for some, there is still a prevailing thought shared by many that the country will be able to weather any threat.
During the ceremony in Berkeley, Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari said terrorists tried to "cripple America," but that our country was able to carry on.
"We carry on, because America is a great country," Freeholder Vicari said.
Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford also said that it is important to stay hopeful on days such as today, because she remembers how the country banded together after 9/11.
"It's important to remember what we lost, but it's also important to remember what we gained," Ford said.