We Will Never Forget
Twenty years ago today, we awoke to a beautiful blue sky very much like it is today. It was clear without a cloud in sight or a foreshadowing of what was soon to come. The mild temperature and light breeze that day filled the air with the arrival of fall, summer winding down, fresh new beginnings, and back to school. Tragically what soon followed on that beautiful perfect peaceful morning would forever be etched in our memories and in our souls. Shocked to our very core, confused, and aghast, most of us prayed all that horrible day waiting for news, news of loved ones, news of explanation, news with some hope. The world as we knew it, life as we knew it, safety as we knew it, everything changed forever, changing all of us forever too.
The gaping hole in our hearts and in our community was devastating and painful, comforted only by the tremendous acts of heroism of all our first responders and emergency management teams, the bravery of everyone who volunteered, the strength of our community and our country coming together and helping each other through this devastating tragedy. That day our fire department went to Staten Island to cover for the fire company that went into Manhattan. Our EMS Rescue Squad covered both New Providence and Berkeley Heights when Berkeley Heights went into New York. Our police were extraordinary keeping us all calm and as informed as best they could while working tirelessly with families of our missing neighbors. And as the moments ticked away with information that was spotty at best, that evening, six cars were left waiting in our railroad parking lots for owners that would never return. Six empty seats were waiting at the dinner table that night. Six of our families and our community was forever devastated. New Providence lost six beautiful souls that day, sons, fathers, daughters, and mothers. Unimaginably countless others lost even more. Everyone knew someone who was never coming home.
Today we remember them all: our lost neighbors, our friends, and our families. Today we honor our emergency management teams who help keep us safe: our first responders, our police, our fire department, our EMS, all of our front line workers, and volunteers. Today we reflect and pray that we never experience anything like this ever again. Today we also recognize and remember that through all of our pain, and through all of our loss, and through all of our sadness, we emerged stronger, united as a people, coming together to help each other, and committed to restoring our American way of life. We will never forget.
God Bless All of You. God Bless New Providence. And God Bless the United States of America.
Mayor Al Morgan