Hundreds Gather in Westfield to Remember Victims, Heroes of 9/11
On the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, Westfield honored those who perished.
In a brief and moving ceremony, nearly 200 Westfielders commemorated the 11th anniversary of September 11th at 6:30 p.m. at the Memorial Site at North Avenue and Broad Street.
Mayor Andrew K. Skibitsky provided the opening comments, beginning by reading the names of Westfield's 12 victims: Andrew J. Alameno, David Otey Campbell, Michael A. Davidson, Dean P. Eberling, Stephen Mark Fogel, Thomas Glasser, Leo Russell Keene III, Richard B. Madden, John "Pepe" Salerno, See-Wong Shum, Anthony Starita and Jim Walsh. Each victim's name is engraved in a granite pillar at the site. Skibitsky also paused for a moment of silence to remember those who perished in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.
The mayor praised the community for standing united in remembering and supporting their fellow citizens, particularly those who'd lost loved ones. He said we have learned from the victims' families that "life and love must go on" and that life is "both fragile and precious," adding that we "must always remember to appreciate our every day blessings."
Rev. Michael Saporito, pastor at St. Helen's Church, offered prayers of commemoration and spoke about the importance of "healing wounds rather than inflicting them."
Dr. Ted Schlosberg played "Taps" prior to the presentation of the ceremonial wreath. Westfield resident Lisa Crosta donated the wreaths for the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, Westfield Councilman Keith Loughlin said he was glad to see such a large turnout, "especially on a weeknight."
Fellow council member Mark LoGrippo, who was in the World Trade Center during the 1993 bombing, said his sympathy goes out to "all the people who lost someone on 9/11 and all the first responders."
Westfielders spent time in quiet reflection and fellowship with one another, embracing the families who'd lost loved ones, before dispersing.