Montville Honors 9/11 Victims
Township commemorates anniversary of World Trade Center attacks and honors victims of the Pan-Am Flight 103 Lockerbie bombing.
Montville Township commemorated 11 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks with a somber and small gathering at the municipal building Tuesday night.
The program was led by VFW Post 5481 Commander Frank Warholic, who spoke to a crowd of victims' relatives, men and women in uniform and Montville residents about what it means to be an American and what the tragedies of that day meant for the country.
"Our awakening should have been on September 11, 2001 for the citizenry of this nation," he said.
Warholic asked the crowd to reflect on where they were on that date and to reflect on the values of hope, freedom, strength and liberty. The Rev. Mark Olenewski, of St. Pius X Church, delivered the invocation and invited audience members to not only consider the acts of horror that day, but also the acts of heroism.
"We look with honor on acts of courage by ordinary people who sacrificed themselves to prevent further death and destruction," he said.
Mayor Tim Braden quoted remarks from former President George W. Bush's speech on the evening of 9/11 and also asked the crowd to reflect on how the event personally touched each person.
"America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world," Braden read from Bush's remarks.
Warholic reminded the crowd that the "generational" war is not yet over and quoted Winston Churchill in saying "never, never give up when you're right."
A VFW member chimed a bell as the relatives of the victims of the attacks and the 1988 Pan-Am Flight 103 Lockerbie bombing attack were invited to place flags in potted plants in honor of their loved ones. Township Committee Members Don Kostka and Deborah Nielson assisted as well. Victims who were honored and whose names were read aloud include Lockerbie bombing victims John P. Flynn and William Giebler Jr. and World Trade Center attack victims Gayle R. Green, Thomas V. Linehan, James Martello, James Romito, Paul Skrzypek and Dennis Taormina.
Wreaths were also placed in the victims' honor before prayers were recited and poems were read aloud. Regina LoBiondo sang "God Bless America."
Warholic concluded the memorial ceremony by reminding the audience of what they have, despite what they have lost.
"We live in the greatest country in the world. God gave it to us and it's up to us to keep it free, with liberty and justice for all," he said.