New Jersey residents mourn the lives lost in the Sept. 11 attacksPosted: Updated:
The Sept. 11 memorial services at the state memorial in Jersey City was held Saturday so that the families could attend the service at Ground Zero Wednesday.
On the actual anniversary of the terror attacks, the site at Liberty State Park becomes one where individuals come to reflect on that fateful day on their own.
Visitors make their way through the memorial - many alone or in small groups. They mark the anniversary of that day in their own personal or private ways.
Umberto Murati of Virginia was in the U.S. Army at a desk job when the attacks occurred. He says that he demanded to go and fight against those who orchestrated the attacks.
“I quit my job and volunteered to go to special forces,” Murati says. “I went to my boss and said you either deploy me or I quit this job.”
Murati was deployed and served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I think I had to do something, I can't be behind a computer,” he says.
Murati says that on the anniversary he and his friends meet in Jersey City, cycle across the George Washington Bridge, and then down to the World Trade Center site – an annual tradition.
Harriet Miller of Jersey City says that she comes to the memorial to sit and to think. She thinks about how the area has rebounded, the path the nation has taken since the attacks, and where society is headed.
“It's 18 years but there's a new, beautiful building - people are working in it. Although there's tremendous division in the country, I like to think and want to think that we're all pulling together for the importance of what democracy stands for,” she says.
Fred Kohmuench from Ringwood came to pay tribute to his friend, Vincent Boland Jr., who died in the attacks. He says he picks a different memorial each year to spend some time at.
“I come down here, say a couple of prayers and I always go up to his spot and say something and just look and hope that people remember for years to come,” he says.
All day long, hundreds of visitors each remembered the effect Sept. 11 had on them and their world. It was a collective catastrophe that 18 years later remains at the same time private and personal.
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