Updated 4/12 w/ photos: A piece of steel from the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center towers was presented this morning in a ceremony at Veteran’s Plaza in the center Secaucus.
The dedication honors the town’s Gulf War II veterans that served the military response to 9/11 and subsequent Iraq invasion. They include Marine Lance Corporal Luke Smentkowski, who was wounded in Iraq, and local vets Master Sergeant George Sikaffy, Sergeant Major Marine Clark Rhiel and Navy Petty Officer Third Class, Michael Bronowich.
New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno was slated to make the presentation but was unable to attend. The memorial includes a commemorative plaque that reads, “This piece of Steel from the World Trade Center Towers is dedicated to those brave men and women of the United States military who have fought since that fateful day to defeat terrorism and the enemies of freedom throughout the world.”
A quote by Gen. Douglas MacArthur also adorns the plaque: “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”
Speakers were slated to include Guadagno, Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni and Mayor Mike Gonnelli.
Eagle Scout Justin Kennelly of Troop #22 kicked off the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Photos, clockwise from top left: Luke Smentkowski & family; Justin Kennelly flag salute; town officials during ceremony; Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni speaks at the ceremony.