The following is a letter to the editor from Secaucus Mayor Mike Gonnelli on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
To the editor:
On Sunday, September 11th, 2011, the nation will commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Secaucus will participate in honoring the memory of that fateful day by observing ‘30 Days of Remembrance’ beginning Thursday, August 11th, and culminating at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11th with a ‘Moment of Remembrance.’
I invite the entire community to come to the 9/11 Memorial at the library to mark the ‘Moment of Remembrance’. The moment will be observed throughout the nation by ceasing all work or activity and sounding bells, whistles and sirens. Following the ‘Moment of Remembrance’, we will continue our tradition of holding a service at the 9/11 Memorial on the grounds of the library.
As a show of strength and unity, I am asking the residents of Secaucus to participate in ‘30 Days of Remembrance’ by making a financial donation to a charity or by donating an item of clothing for our troops. If you choose to make a financial donation, there are 4 organizations we are asking you to support. Each was formed in response to events of 9/11.
The first is the Tour de Force Bike Ride. It is a four day, 280 mile bicycle ride from Ground Zero to the Pentagon. Secaucus Police Officers Carlos Goyenechea, Fran Cotter, and Roderick Aninipot are riding this year and each rider must raise $1,000.00 to benefit the families of police officers who were killed in the line of duty.
If you wish to donate to the Tour de Force, you can do so by check or online. Checks should be written payable to Tour de Force with the words Secaucus Police Officers on the memo line. The check can be mailed to me in the Town Hall or to the Tour de Force, P.O. Box 395, Washingtonville, NY 10992. You may also donate online by going to the website and scrolling down to individual officer’s names. If possible, please make your donation by August 25th.
The 2nd charity, with deep roots here in Secaucus, is the Steven Strobert Foundation. Steven, a victim of the attack on the World Trade Center, was an extraordinary person, whose life and legacy are honored through the Foundation.
An energetic, high achiever, who worked as a bond trader on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center, North Tower, he is remembered by all who knew him for his joy of life, his enthusiasm for helping others, and his generous spirit.
Inspired by Steven’s life, his family and friends founded the Steven Strobert Foundation, Inc. The Foundation continues to support the next generation of extraordinary people. There are two ways you can make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Checks can be made payable to the Steven Strobert Foundation, Inc. and mailed to Steven Strobert Foundation, Inc., PO Box 2314, Secaucus, NJ 07096-2314.
For online donations, you may go to the website and follow the instructions.
Firefighters were among the most valiant heroes of 9/ll. The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York formed a fund to assist the families of those brave men and women who perished in the Towers. All donations are deposited directly into the Widows’ and Children’s Fund account and distributed directly to the families of Fallen Firefighters.
If you wish to donate in the memory of those heroic first responders, we ask you to go to the website and follow the quick link to the UFA Widow’s and Children’s Fund Donations. If you prefer to mail a check, please make it payable to the UFA Widows’ and Children’s Fund and mail it to the Uniformed Firefighter’s Association, 204 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010.
We also want to be mindful, as we approach this solemn 10 year anniversary, of the sacrifices and dedication of the men and women in the military. Many of you may recall the Run for the Warriors co-sponsored earlier this year by the Town and Hartz to raise funds for the Hope for the Warriors organization.
I would like to continue to support this worthy cause. Hope For The Warriors was established in 2006 by two women whose family member was severely wounded while serving in Iraq. In order to help families like themselves deal with the financial and emotional hardships associated with their loved one’s recovery and to give them hope for life beyond recovery, they decided to form a support and advocacy network. Thus, Hope For The Warriors was born.
The organization’s mission is a promise to men and women in all branches of the service that their sacrifice will not be forgotten. If you wish to learn more about this inspiring organization, its programs and accomplishments, or to make a donation, you may access the website. If you wish to speak to a representative, please contact Katie Tame, Director, by calling 212 471-9505 or e-mail her at Katherine@hopeforthewarriors.org.
Donations by check can be made payable to Hope For the Warriors and mailed to mailed to Hope for the Warriors, Attention: Katie Tame, Office of Building Management, 55 Water Street, New York, NY 10041.
Another way you can support our troops is by donating new sweat pants for our wounded military stationed in Afghanistan. The wounded are supplied with sweat pants to keep them warm during transport from the field hospitals to Landstuhl Hospital in Germany. The most needed sizes are Large and Extra Large. Monetary donations to purchase sweat pants can be sent to Paul Pinkman, Knights of Columbus State Veterans Affairs Chairman, at 707 Golden Avenue, Secaucus, NJ 07094. Sweat pants can be dropped off at the Immaculate Conception Church gift shop or at my office in the Town Hall.
Of course, the organizations and gestures of remembrance I have suggested are not the only ways you may choose to honor the memory of 9/11. The idea is that each of us should do something meaningful in our own way to reflect on the events of that day, how it has affected us as a nation, and indeed, the ways that it has changed the world.
I am working with a committee of citizens and clergy on the program for this year’s ceremony. My intention is to set a solemn and respectful tone appropriate to the serious nature of the day’s purpose. As the time draws nearer, I will inform you of our plans. You have my assurance it will be a meaningful ceremony to unite the community in remembrance and strength.
Michael J. Gonnelli