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New Jersey residents honor lives lost in Sept. 11 attacks at the Empty Sky Memorial

New Jersey residents paid their respects to the lives lost in the Sept. 11 attacks by visiting the Empty Skies Memorial in Jersey City on the 19th anniversary.

News 12 Staff

Sep 11, 2020, 2:50 PM

Updated 1,354 days ago

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New Jersey residents paid their respects to the lives lost in the Sept. 11 attacks by visiting the Empty Skies Memorial in Jersey City on the 19th anniversary.
The people from New Jersey who died in the attack are represented on the steel walls of the memorial. For families, it is a powerful experience to see and touch the names.
Rosanne Hughes comes to the memorial to see her husband Tom’s name a few times each year.
“There are no titles. No alphabetical order…I just feel the names facing each other, are comforting each other,” she says.
Tom Hughes was 46 years old when he died in the attacks. He had a wife and two children at home in Wall Township. He never made it home after a meeting at Windows on the World. The anniversary reminds Rosanne Hughes of all the milestones her husband has missed.
“The graduations, births of children, the first day of school,” she says.
The Empty Sky Memorial was designed with the families of the victims in mind. One can look at the walls and see a faint reflection of themselves.
“I think it is a chamber of reflection,” says designer Jessica Jamroz. “It is something very powerful to experience…This memorial mount was created to reflect the state of New Jersey’s heart.”
Jamroz says that each wall is the exactly the length of the World Trade Center’s façade.
“It makes it feel as if you are standing at the towers,” she says.
The Twin Towers stood right across from the site along the Hudson River, which is why a ceremony is held there each year to mark the anniversary.
“Our agency is dedicated to never again. Because that's what we were created to do. But we can never forget,” says New Jersey Department of Homeland Security Director Jared Maples.
There were 750 New Jersey residents who died in the attack 19 years ago.


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