The city will be the site of several events related to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks – including a unique forum on Sept. 14 about how Hoboken coped with the tragedy, and a different event commemorating the 57 community members who died.
The city will also play host to a ceremony run by the NFL that is expected to segue into TV coverage of a nationally televised New York Jets football game.
Hoboken was one of the hardest hit communities in the state when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center 10 years ago. Many residents were standing on the city’s waterfront, about to go into work, when they saw their workplace attacked across the river. Others had already made it into the towers and never came home. One young woman lost her fiancé less than a month before her wedding.
Reacting and coping
On Sept. 14, the Hoboken Historical Museum and Hoboken Public Library will hold a panel discussion at All Saints Church from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The panel will focus on how Hoboken reacted and coped with the tragedy that took the lives of so many community members.
A service will take place on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. in Pier A Park.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, the city of Hoboken will commemorate the lives of local community members who died on that day 10 years ago. For that event, a service will be held at 6 p.m. in Hoboken’s downtown waterfront Pier A Park, giving mourners a direct sightline of Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center once stood. The 6 p.m. service will be attended by the Hoboken Clergy Coalition, city officials, and other various community organizations.
After the city’s tribute, the National Football League will hold a tribute at Pier A Park, according to a city release. The tribute is likely to be televised before the 8 p.m. football game between the New York Jets, who play in nearby East Rutherford, and the Dallas Cowboys.
Hoboken High School will also hold a Sept. 11 commemoration event on Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. in the Hoboken High School auditorium at 800 Clinton St. Community members, school district teachers, administrators, student leaders, and students who are enrolled in the school’s nationally renowned EMT program will join Hoboken-based artist Raymond Smith (no relation to the author of this newspaper story) to rededicate a work he had originally created for the city, entitled “The Hoboken Children’s Memorial Flag.”
The flag features stars and stripes made out of hand prints from children and other family members related to Hoboken’s 57 victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The original work is installed at the Hoboken Board of Education meeting room. A facsimile of the art work has been produced for the commemoration in the school auditorium, where the work will be permanently displayed.
First responders, veterans, and family members of the victims of the attacks who would like to participate in that event are asked to contact the school’s main office at (201) 356-3703.
Two events at religious institutions
All Saints Episcopal Parish will hold their annual commemoration with a morning liturgy at 8 a.m., followed by the ringing of a bell from 8:46 a.m. to 9:03 a.m., the interval between the first and second planes hitting the World Trade Center towers 10 years ago. Additional services will take place at 9:20 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
All Saints is located at 707 Washington St.
The United Synagogue of Hoboken is hosting their annual day of service, Mitzah Day, an opportunity for residents to give back to their community. To sign up, residents are asked to visit HobokenSynagogue.org/MitzvahDayForm.php.
Permanent city memorial still in the works
The city continues to finalize a permanent 9/11 memorial in Pier A Park. The city’s temporary memorial, a glass teardrop with the names of the victims, was destroyed earlier this year by natural elements.
The plan all along has been to have a permanent memorial in Pier A Park, but the discussions have varied about what exactly should be erected as the memorial, and how much it should cost.
In past years, the city proposed an island park memorial, which would have been built in the Hudson River off the northeast corner of Pier A Park at a cost $4 million. When the city endured budget problems, they said $4 million was too expensive.
The city has formed a 9/11 Memorial Committee to design Hoboken’s permanent memorial. The latest proposed design would place the memorial on the northern side of Pier A Park, nestled among the trees, oriented toward the World Trade Center site.
The permanent memorial would feature two symmetrical, semicircular platforms, each 1.5 feet high, representative of the Twin Towers. The proposed memorial would be disabled-accessible, and would feature etchings with words such as “father, mother, son, daughter” to help those who come to visit remember those who were lost. A piece of the World Trade Center would also be included.
The old memorial will not be returned.
“The city is working with the 9/11 Memorial Committee to complete bid specifications and finalize details for the permanent memorial at Pier A,” said Juan Melli, city spokesperson, last week. “It is expected to go out to bid in September and likely be awarded soon after going through the bidding process, when it will be ready for construction.”
Before the Sept. 11 ceremony, a display with information on the design and plans for the permanent memorial will be installed at the location.
To read more about how Hoboken and its residents dealt with and survived on that day, pick up next weekend’s newspaper.
Ray Smith may be reached at RSmith@hudsonreporter.com