BRICK – Despite the heavy rain, local officials, law enforcement, first responders, and members of the Brick community joined together on Sunday evening to remember the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93, that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Four suicide terrorist attacks were carried out by the militant Islamic extremist group al-Qaida who hijacked four planes on that day. Two planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and one plane hit the Pentagon. A fourth plane, which intended to go Washington, D.C., crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers rebelled.
The Brick Township remembrance ceremony and candlelight vigil was held at Windward Beach where the Angel in Anguish monument stands. On the monument is the names of the eight people who have ties to Brick that were killed in the attacks.
“It’s great to have the community come out, even in the rain, to honor the eight members of our community who perished on that awful day. Of course, we remember their families who are here with us today,” Mayor John G. Ducey said.
“We gather each year as neighbors and as friends, as loved ones, as family members, to remember and to provide comfort to those family members. They all suffered an unimaginable pain and heartbreak because of that day, September 11, 2001. We gather here each year to remember those eight members of our community. The community comes out in full force as we can see,” he added.
The eight from Brick, who all died at the World Trade Center, are: John Badagliacca, Brett T. Baileypain, Robert P. Devitt Jr., Michael David Diehl, Jon Anthony Perconti, James Sands Jr., Thomas Sgroi, and Christopher Traina.
In addition, Township officials honored Ruben Correa and Martha Jane Stevens. Correa was a firefighter with Ladder 74 who lived in Staten Island. His family currently lives in Brick. Stevens worked for AON Corporation and spent her summers in Brick.
“We want to keep that memory of those eight from Brick Township but also all the people, the 3,000, from all over the country, from all over the world that perished on that particular day. Keep that high-definition memory for those who are 21 years and younger as time goes on,” Ducey said.
The ceremony included prayers from several church leaders across the township as well as the presentation of colors. At the end, the lighting of candles was held where community members placed a candle on a table around the monument to honor victims.
“In these times we also want to thank all the heroic people that were out there, the police officers, the firefighters, the medics, members of the military, and the regular, ordinary citizens that did a lot that day. A lot of them are living with the aftermath of helping, having lung and other types of diseases. Please keep all those people in mind all well,” Ducey added.