A Quiet, Reflective September 11

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A plaque adorns the South Orange September 11th Memorial.

A plaque adorns the South Orange September 11th Memorial.

This year, neither South Orange nor Maplewood will hold official remembrances of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Instead, the towns are encouraging residents to attend the “Essex County Remembers” memorial ceremony at the Eagle Rock September 11 Memorial in West Orange. The event takes place at 8 a.m.

“Essex County always does a meritorious job honoring the memories of those who we lost,” said South Orange Village President Alex Torpey.

Maplewood lost two residents that day: Kirsten L. Christophe, 39, and Douglas Macmillan Cherry, 38.

Millburn lost eight: Mark L. Charette, 38; Thomas R. Clark, 37 (Clark grew up in Short Hills but lived in Summit at the time of his death); Steven Barry Lillianthal, 38; Richard B. Madden, 35; Patrick Sean Murphy, 36; Don Peterson, 66 (Peterson was on United Flight 93; he grew up in Millburn, but was a resident of Spring Lake at the time of his death); Ian Schneider, 45; and Frank J. Spinelli, 44.

South Orange lost three residents: Christopher Faughnan, 37; Christopher Colasanti, 33 (Colasanti was born and raised in South Orange but lived in Hoboken with his young family); and Donald Robertson, 35.

There are two September 11th memorials in Maplewood: a tree with a plaque at Maplewood Train Station and a monument wrought from World Trade Center steel at the Hilton Branch of the Maplewood Library.

In Millburn, a memorial for the eight residents graces Taylor Park, where a stone wall with three granite panels faces a bench across a small circular plaza.

In South Orange, an obelisk is adorned with a memorial plaque outside of the South Orange Performing Arts Center. There is also another memorial for Christopher Faughnan at the New Waterlands field that includes handprints and playground equipment.

Beyond those residents lost, members of our communities were affected in various ways. Local police and firefighters were put on alert and assisted with school closings. Others like Rosetta Weiser, former co-owner of the Village Wine Shop in Maplewood, escaped the towers. Rosetta spent years helping the families of her Port Authority colleagues who perished. Still others lost relatives such as T.J. Hargrave, 38, brother of Maplewood resident Jeanmarie Hargrave Kerns.

Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca still vividly recalls the day. At the 10th anniversary, DeLuca told Patch, “I was also the Mayor and was at our train station until late that night waiting for our residents to return to the safety of their community and home. I will never forget the fear and confusion that etched each person’s face as they stepped off the train.”

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