Rutherford Remembers September 11th
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photo credits: Jennifer Ersalesi and Ginny Coleman
As people throughout the country gathered to observe the twentieth anniversary of September 11, 2021, the community of Rutherford also came together in Lincoln Park for a ceremony entitled, “Rutherford Remembers…”.
Mayor Frank Nunziato gave the Welcome Introduction during which he extended his sincerest sympathies to all those families and friends who continue to mourn the loss of the “sons of Rutherford” whose lives were lost during the attack on the World Trade Center.
The Invocation was given by Reverend Peter Wilkinson of the First Presbyterian Church. Chief John Russo of the Rutherford Police Department led the Pledge of Allegiance. Following the Pledge, the Rutherford Marine Corps League Air, Land, & Sea No. 710 Detachment conducted the Posting of Colors. Under the direction of Mrs. Patricia Blanchard, the Rutherford High School Choir sang the “Star-Spangled Banner”.
Troup 166 B and 166G, Cub Scout Pack 168, and Girl Scout Troop 97096 attended the event as well.
Councilwoman Stephanie McGowan spoke about Port Authority Police Officer Maurice Barry who was known as “Moe”, an Ambulance Corps member and Boy Scout Leader and part of the Port Authority Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit. Councilman Tom Mullahey read a short biography about John Crowe who was an active community member who coached a number of different sports. Crowe’s niece, Jennifer Van Blarcom, produced the conceptual design for the September 11th Memorial in Lincoln Park. Tim Finnerty was remembered by Councilman Ray Guzman who recounted Finnerty’s love of basketball and coaching. Mayor Frank Nunziato spoke about his friend, John Griffin, who created the “Hope with Heart” organization along with his wife, June, which supports children with heart defects after the death of their son Jonathan. Ronnie Breitweiser, a 1980 Rutherford High School graduate, who truly loved his community was remembered by Councilman Matt Cokeley. Councilman Mark Goldsack spoke about Port Authority Police Officer Paul Laszcynski who was a devoted father and a member of the Port Authority Emergency Services Unit who received several awards for acts of heroism. Councilwoman Maria Begg-Roberson recounted the lives lost that day, their heroism, and those affected by their tragic deaths.
Rutherford resident, Dan Coleman, played “Taps”. DOJ Retired Deputy Chief Brian Bruton Bergen County Police, Pipes, and Drums played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. Pastor Shawn Pate of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church and Reverend Dr, Karen Rezach of Grace Episcopal Church led the Litany of Prayer. The RHS Choir sang, “Seasons of Love”, from the musical “Rent” under the choral direction of Mrs. Patricia Blanchard. Father Phil Latronico of the Community of God’s Love gave the Benediction and the Rutherford Marine Corps League conducted the Retiring of Colors.
Councilman Mark Goldsack thanked all for joining and taking part in the Observance, He asked all “to enjoy the beautiful day in memory of those lost...". DOJ Ret. Deputy Chief Brian Bruton concluded the program with the Recession during which he played “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” on the bagpipes.
Click here for the link for the video of "Rutherford Remembers...".