Honoring a fallen hero
Plaque and tree dedicated to Officer David LaMagne
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Sep 09, 2012 | 3914 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IN REMEMBRANCE - Officer David LaMagne’s sacrifice was honored on 3201 Liberty Ave. in front of his family home.
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North Bergen Township has honored Port Authority Police Officer David LaMagne, who died in the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, with a plaque and a tree in front of his family home on 3201 Liberty Avenue.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco, EMT workers from North Bergen and Union City, the Police Department, and representatives of the Port Authority Police Department recently honored the hero for his sacrifice in a ceremony also attended by LaMagne’s parents and family.

Correcting a wrong

Port Authority bagpipers played while Mayor Sacco mentioned how the town honored three North Bergen High School graduates who died on 9/11 and were now honoring Officer LaMagne for his heroism. LaMagne grew up in North Bergen but attended Hudson Catholic High.

“Every year the town plants trees and asks residents if they want a tree planted in front of their house,” said Committeeman John Bender. “They [the town] asked Officer LaMagne’s mother if she wanted a tree. She explained that the town never did anything for her son, and Union City had named a street after him.”
“We’ve corrected a mistake that we made ten years ago.” – Mayor Nicholas Sacco
Bender contacted local committeewoman Elvira Barillas, who works in Town Hall. She communicated the situation to Township Administrator Christopher Pianese, asking him about what was apparently an oversight on the township’s part.

Bender said the mayor said it perfectly: “We’ve corrected a mistake that we made 10 years ago.”

“Over the years, the township came to realize that a memorial should be provided,” said Town Spokesperson Phil Swibinski. “The family was very happy to see Officer LaMagne’s memory be honored by North Bergen. The plaque and tree were chosen as a fitting tribute that would last for many years.”

EMT Hero

LeMagne worked for Union City’s Volunteer Ambulance Corps, where he later earned his EMT certification in 1990. He graduated from Hudson Catholic in 1992. LeMagne also worked with Jersey City Medical Center and University Hospital in Newark as an EMT. In 2000 he joined the Port Authority Police Department.

On 9/11, after hearing that a plane struck the North Tower, he requested to go to the World Trade center, knowing his paramedic training would be needed. He was last seen creating a human chain in the North Tower to help in the rescue effort. LeMagne was 27 years old.

For the 10th anniversary, Union City honored LeMagne by renaming part of 16th Street between New York and Palisade Avenue as “David P. LeMagne Way.”

“Officer LaMagne worked with the Union City EMS and was well known there, which is why he was honored initially by Union City,” said Swibinski.

His mother Ruth could not be reached for comment.

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at vcruz@hudsonreporter.com
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