Kevin J. O’Toole is the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This was first printed in the Bergen Record on 9/9/19.
The most humbling duty that falls on the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is speaking on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. It was the second attack on the Trade Center, which was bombed on Feb. 26, 1993, resulting in the deaths of six adults and an unborn child. Nearly 3,000 souls were lost on 9/11.
The loss of life – whether in numbers small or large – is always personal to the family and friends of the victims. Many of us in New Jersey and New York, lost family, friends and colleagues. The sum total of this loss is incalculable.
Ridgewood NJ, a September 11th, 20th anniversary remembrance service will be held on September 11, 2021 in Memorial Park at Van Neste Square at 7:00 p.m. Please join us in honoring and remembering all of those who were tragically lost on 9/11.
Ridgewood NJ, On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including 12 people from Ridgewood , which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.
Trenton NJ, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority acknowledged last week it has removed flags from highway overpasses,The move has upset veterans groups and at least one police union in the days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today condemned the misguided removal of American flags by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) from highway overpasses and moved forward with legislation to unequivocally allow them to be flown.
We have heard that the Governor has intervened and reversed the decision but we can not confirm.
Governor Cuomo: “9/11 was one of the single darkest periods in this state’s and this nation’s history, and we owe it to those we lost and to the countless heroes who ran toward danger that day and the days that followed to do everything we can to keep their memory alive. By establishing this annual day of remembrance and a brief moment of silence in public schools, we will help ensure we never forget — not just the pain of that moment but of the courage, sacrifice and outpouring of love that defined our response.”
Glen Rock NJ, On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at 6:30pm,(rain or shine) Residents will gather as a community at the Memorial at Veterans’ Park on Main Street in Glen Rock for a formal observance highlighted by song, lighting of candles and a reading of the names of our eleven Glen Rock residents.
All are invited to visit the Memorial throughout the day for personal reflection and prayer.
Ridgewood NJ, Jim Morgan, Vice President of the Ridgewood Board of Education asks in what some are calling a feud with the Village Council , “What commemorative activity does the village municipal government plan to remember the many friends and relatives of Ridgewood residents that died in the attack? Glen Rock annually has a very moving gathering at their 9/11 Memorial. If Ridgewood has not scheduled anything, I would invite anyone that cares to participate in this civic ceremony. It is scheduled for 6:30 at Veterans Park on Main Street just off Rock Road.”
Please be advised that my comments are personal and are made in my capacity as a Board of Education member. You will note that my posting made no mention of the BOE or my association with the school district. Thanks.
Glen Rock NJ, Tuesday, September 11, 2018, will be observed as a Day of Remembrance at the Glen Rock Memorial Site at Veterans’ Park, Main Street. Family, friends and community are invited to visit the Memorial Site throughout the day for personal reflection and prayer. At 6:30pm that evening, rain or shine, we will gather together as a community at the Memorial Site for a more formal observance which will be highlighted by song, prayer, lighting of candles and the reading of the names of our eleven Glen Rock residents whom we lost that day.
New York NY, Each year, as the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, the country is reminded of the unprecedented losses suffered. As we approach the anniversary and honor the fallen, the Justice Department also honors the survivors, particularly those who are experiencing 9-11 health related illnesses. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is increasing its efforts to identify those who may be eligible for compensation because they suffer physical health effects as a result of their exposure but are not aware of the VCF, and seeks to award compensation to those who continue to suffer. As part of this outreach effort, FBI Director Christopher Wray and VCF Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya hosted a public forum for approximately 150 federal law enforcement officers today to provide vital information about federal programs that are available to those who responded to the attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, 2001.
Ridgewood NJ, remembering those we lost on September 11th 2001 ; Richard Blood, Michael Carroll, Daniel McGinley, James Munhall, Charlie Murphy, Steven Paterson, Michael San Phillip, Bruce Simmons, Steven Strobert, Gina Sztejnberg, Jon Vandevander, and Christopher Wodenshek.
Ridgewood NJ, according to the NJ office of Homeland Security the terrorist attack in London on June 3 highlights the continuing threat from “low-tech,” unsophisticated weapons such as vehicles and knives. Although there are no specific threats to New Jersey, these types of attacks require little preparation and could be conducted with little or no warning. Last week’s attack in London follows vehicle rammings at Westminster Bridge in London in May; in Stockholm, Sweden, in April; at a Christmas market in Berlin in December; on the campus of Ohio State University in November; and at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, last July. ISIS and al-Qa’ida have encouraged their followers to attack where they are, with whatever weapons they can acquire. Last week, a pro-ISIS message encouraged its readers to kill civilians, with a caption reading, “Run them over by vehicles,” and showing an image with a truck, a knife, and a handgun (see photo).
The scenario for the attack on London Bridge and at Borough Market was similar to those of the attacks at Westminster Bridge and Ohio State University. In each case, the attackers drove a vehicle into pedestrians, then got out of the vehicle and began stabbing people. These multi-phase attacks extend the incident, thus increasing the number of casualties and amplifying the terror effect.
Ridgewood NJ, from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security ,the bombing at an arena in Manchester, England, after an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 illustrates the need for security measures and vigilance by the public at the conclusion of a major event. Often at a concert or a sporting event, security measures such as checkpoints and bag checks are in place at the beginning, when ticketholders are entering the venue. After the event, however, there are fewer security measures, and since the event is over, security personnel and the general public may have a tendency to let down their guard. At the arena in Manchester, the attacker was able to inflict multiple casualties by detonating his explosives as spectators were exiting the arena, taking advantage of the fact that there are typically larger concentrations of people in confined spaces as spectators are leaving an event than when they are arriving (photo shows a crowd exiting on a stairway in Manchester).
The attacker was also able to avoid detection by security personnel by detonating his explosives outside the arena, rather than attempting to smuggle them in through a checkpoint. The explosion occurred on a walkway connecting the arena to the Victoria train station. Extending the security perimeter, by measures such as placing bollards to impede vehicles and adding surveillance cameras looking outward from the venue, could potentially reduce the threat. However, as at airports, no matter how far outward security measures are pushed, eventually there comes a point where security stops—and that seam becomes a vulnerability. Accordingly, an attack such as the one in Manchester could potentially occur in the United States, including New Jersey.
Today, we honor the memory of those we lost on September 11, 2001. On that day, the lives of nearly 3,000 people were tragically cut short at the hands of those who sought only suffering and destruction. The innocent victims were our fathers, our mothers, our daughters, our sons, and our friends. They were the brave and selfless few that raced to help in the minutes, days, and weeks after the attacks. Today we honor their sacrifice.
While lives were taken and property was destroyed, what the terrorists were truly seeking to attack that day was our resolve and our spirit. They wanted the American people to cower and relinquish the most fundamental right that we hold dear—our freedom.
Unfortunately for them, our armed forces abroad and our first responders here at home—the most dedicated and well-trained people on the planet—have never backed down from a challenge since our country was founded nearly 250 years ago. And these brave men and women have the unwavering support of millions of Americans who cherish their freedom and stand by those who fight for it.
As we pause to remember all that we lost on that day 15 years ago, we must remember that our flag still proudly flies here and across the world. We must remember that the terrorists failed to take what they wanted most—our nation’s belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And as our country continues to face adversaries here and abroad, we must remember just how precious life and freedom truly are.
Let us never forget those we lost 15 years ago today. May God bless the United States of America.
Rep. Scott Garrett (CD5)
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