MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of County Commissioners is inviting residents of Morris County and beyond to join them on Sunday, September 11, 6:00 p.m. to observe the 21th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The annual remembrance ceremony will be held at the Morris County 9/11 Memorial on West Hanover Avenue in Parsippany-Troy Hills, with the keynote address to be provided by Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Firefighter Carl F. Asaro, Jr. He and three siblings joined the FDNY to honor their father, Carl Francis Asaro, Sr., one of 343 FDNY members killed while responding to the Twin Tower attacks.
Carl, Jr., was the first of his siblings to join the FDNY after his father died. Carl Jr., now 34, was followed by his brother, Matthew, 33, and then his younger sister and brother — Rebecca, 30, and Marc, 28. Rebecca Asaro delivered the keynote address last year at Morris County’s 20th Anniversary 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
“All of us were there when Rebecca spoke, the whole family, and I made a commitment to be there this year. It’s an honor to be a part of it,” said Carl, Jr.
Their father’s firehouse in Midtown Manhattan was the hardest hit on Sept. 11, 2001. Fifteen firefighters on Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 – an entire shift – died as they responded to the devastation as it was unfolding at the Twin Towers.
Carl Jr. was 13 years old when he and his four siblings and mother, Heloiza, lost their father and husband.
“This is a very important remembrance ceremony for Morris County. We lost 64 of our friends and neighbors 21 years ago in the cowardly terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. The entire community came together to build our 9/11 memorial in Parsippany. It is a memorial we have continued to maintain and restore over the years, and every year we come together at that location to remind the world, we will never forget,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen.
The Morris County 9/11 Memorial on West Hanover Avenue in Parsippany-Troy Hills was constructed to pay tribute to all of the people killed in the attacks, nearly 3,000, with an emphasis on the 64 Morris County residents lost that day.
The names of all who died are engraved in ruby-colored paving stones set in the walkway surrounding the memorial, and the names of each of the 64 Morris County residents killed are additionally listed on individual, brass plates affixed atop of the memorial’s inner wall.
Circular in design, the memorial features three elevated pieces of steel from the World Trade Center, and a portion of the steel is within hand’s reach. The memorial also incorporates remnants of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pa., and soil from the Pentagon, the site of the crash of hijacked American Flight 77.
A pool of water encircles the memorial along with a walkway with benches for visitors to sit and reflect. The walkway also has four bridges leading across the water and toward the cemented, circle that encloses the steel.
As a plaque at the memorial explains, “The concrete blocks at the base of the steel represent the foundations of our lives: family, relationships and community. The recurring, circular forms on the site signify the continuance of life. The water surrounding the memorial symbolizes healing and rebirth. The island on which the steel beams stand and the connecting bridges suggest the blending of ethnic, cultural and spiritual differences. The flowers beneath the concrete blocks represent life and hope, reminding us that with the passing of time comes healing, peace and resolve.”
Seating at the memorial is limited, so the public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the outdoor observance. Parking will be available at the Morris County Department of Human Services building at 340 West Hanover Ave., on the Morris Township side of the street. Shuttle buses will be available to transport those in need the short distance to the memorial.