Passaic, NJ- The twenty-second anniversary of September 11th was a genuinely heartfelt day as Mayor Hector C. Lora and Passaic City officials gathered in front of the Passaic City Hall courtyard to remember the lives lost. On this day of remembrance, The City of Passaic, Deputy Mayor of Veteran's Affairs, and Commander Minnie Hiller-Cousins served as the ceremony organizers. The event was also attended by first responders from the Passaic City Police and Fire Department. Chief of the Passaic Fire Department, Patrick Trentacost, who also served as the ceremony's keynote speaker, was accompanied by Deputy Chief Robert Munier and the Passaic Fire Department. Members of the Passaic City Council and the Passaic Board were also in attendance, including Assemblyman and City Council President Gary Schaer, Passaic School Vice President of the Board Judith Sanchez, and many others.
The ceremony commenced with an opening prayer by Reverend Erwin Izzepi, followed by an introduction by Deputy Mayor and Commander Minnie Hiller-Cousins, who saluted members of the Memorial Post 10117. The Police and Fire Honor Guard and the Passaic ROTC Color Guard presented the posting of the colors and the recitation of the pledge of allegiance. Passaic High School Senior Itzel Ramos then delivered her rendition of 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'
Mayor Lora welcomed the dignitaries and guests present, offering heartfelt thanks and remarks to those who attended the ceremony. In a heartwarming speech, Mayor Lora shared his memories of September 11th, emphasizing the importance of never forgetting., “ I consider today, and I understand that when we say ‘ never forget,’ It is not easy; it is important it is upon us to gather each year to tell the stories because there are some who are eighteen years old now and they were not there when it occurred, they look to it has a moment in history”. Patrick Trentacost, the keynote speaker who had served as a first responder on this tragic day, shared his thoughts, “ We must honor those who have died before us, and I as long as I can breathe to talk about my experience”.
The event continued with the flag-raising led by Bagpiper Bob Bonner. The silence was observed while the flag was lowered to half-mast, accompanied by the Taps bugle call played by Ashanti Julmisse. During the reading of the 9/11 timeline, five bells tolled: four bells represented each plane hijacked on September 11 and the victims killed, while the last bell honored all the emergency responders who died due to health issues developed from their work at Ground Zero in New York City. The ceremony concluded with a prayer offered by Pamela Sallie McDowell. For more information, Please Visit: https://www.cityofpassaic.com/