On Tuesday at noon, there will be a flag raising ceremony at the historic Weehawken Water Tower, symbolizing the past, the present and the future of the township. It will mark the first time in 30 years that a flag has flown over the Water Tower.
Tim Gray, the brother of Chris Gray, a Weehawken resident who was killed in the WTC disaster, will help raise the flag. Tim Gray has since become a resident of the township, choosing to live in the residence where his late brother once lived.
On Wednesday, the actual anniversary of the tragedy, everyone in town is requested to fly their flags at half mast. There will be a township-wide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. whereever people are, in the schools, town buildings, workplace along the waterfront, etc. All people in the town will be asked to stop and honor the memories of those who were lost that day with the moment of silence at that precise time.
At 10 a.m., at Roosevelt School, there will be a tree-planting ceremony, with the children of the school planting a tree seedling in honor of the fallen victims.
The Roosevelt School Parent-Teacher Organization came up with the idea to plant the tree as a tribute.
"It's not a memorial, it's not a celebration and it's not an anniversary," said Roosevelt School Principal Anthony LaBruno. "It's being planted as a tribute to those who lost their lives, but also the heroes who were of such huge assistance in helping rescue people that day. It symbolizes a new beginning, our way of learning what has happened, but that we're all moving forward. Like a tree, we plan to grow to our fullest potential, in our school, our community and our country."
LaBruno said that the students of the school have been writing essays, with the topic being "The Heroes of 9/11," and some of those essays will be read at the tree-planting ceremony.
"It shows how much we've rallied as a nation to show the need to rebuild," LaBruno said. "Obviously, a lot of our students were able to visualize what happened from their classroom windows and the publicity has bombarded them with information, so they know what happened. But they're being able to put their feelings to words. It's meant as something positive for the students."
LaBruno credited the work of current Roosevelt PTO President Grace Rodriguez and former PTO President Kate McMahon for their efforts in organizing the tree-planting ceremony.
At 7 p.m., there will be a non-denominational candlelight vigil at Hamilton Plaza, remembering the four residents, Eric Evans, Chris Gray, Peter Klein and Robert Vicario, who perished last Sept. 11.
Rev. L. William Guilfoyle of the Park United Methodist Church, Rev. Robert Emery of St. Lawrence Church and Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of the United Synagogue of Hoboken will offer words and prayers of condolence and remembrance during the vigil.
Eventually, a granite monument will be placed at Hamilton Park in honor of those four residents. That ceremony will be held in the coming weeks.
For more information on local ceremonies, see the Sept. 11 insert in this newspaper.