As a 9/11 family member, I would like to thank the Bayonne Remembers Committee for the very tasteful manner in which it ran its 10 year anniversary program at the Harbor View Teardrop Memorial site. In an era where restraint seems to have gone the way of the rotary phone (Super Bowl halftime shows, “American Idol”-style “singing” of the national anthem, etc.), it was great to see that quiet reflection and respect for the occasion are not lost on the people of Bayonne.
The only thing missing was one of our city’s treasures, the Bayonne Bridgemen. Every St. Patty’s Day, the Bridgemen honor their fallen at a memorial mass in St. Andrew’s Church. If anyone’s ever attended this amazing evening, it’s a night you’ll never forget. The corps performs, among others, beautiful renditions of “Taps,” “Amazing Grace,” “Danny Boy,” and “America the Beautiful.” It’s a very moving experience.
The Bayonne High School band and chorale group (who performed so well at the 10 year anniversary), the single bagpiper, the various color guards, and the clerics are all vital parts of that evening. To my mind, the Bridgemen should also be part of it. We associate music with memories. On a day where words can feel so inadequate, the power of music can help us to remember, so that we won’t forget.
What did the Bridgemen do this 9/11? What they do every 9/11 – they performed out of town. That’s just wrong. Why haven’t the Bridgemen ever been invited to perform in Bayonne on 9/11? That I can’t answer, but it sure feels wrong.
Thanks again to the committee for a very respectful evening. My mom and my aunt, both of whom died on Flight 93, were humble, modest souls. They would have approved.