SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS — On Saturday morning, the sky was crystal blue and cloudless, the air crisp and fresh, just as it was on that day, 20 years ago. Outside borough hall, residents, officials, police and firefighters gathered to remember those who died that day, Sept. 11, 2001, that began so beautifully and ended so tragically.
American Legion Post 432 presented the colors, followed by the pledge of allegiance and remarks from Mayor Christopher Campion Jr. and Police Chief Edward W. Gunnell. The Rev. Sunny Shim of Wall United Methodist Church offered a prayer, and Spring Lake Heights Elementary School seventh-grader Jillian Daino sang the national anthem and “God Bless America.”
Mayor Campion said: “It is hard to believe that two decades have passed since that fateful morning, 20 years since our lives were forever changed by a heinous act that claimed the lives of 2,996 Americans, including 343 firefighters and 60 police officers.
“Among the victims were four Spring Lake Heights residents, whose names are memorialized on the plaque here beside us – James McAlary, James Murphy, Thomas Hughes and Paulie Keating. Their families have been invited here today as we honor their memory and pay our respects to them as well as all of the men and women who were taken from us that day,” the mayor said.
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