It is an honor and privilege to serve as Chairperson of the 9-11 Ceremony of Remembrance. This meaningful and beautiful ceremony inspires many residents and the large turnout every year reflects our belief that “Livingston Cares and Never Forgets.”
None of these annual events would be possible without the efforts and support from volunteers, most of whom have participated each and every year. The program, letters, and in-house organizing is under the capable direction of Renee Resky from the Township’s Clerk’s Office. She makes sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Lilianna Branquinho of the Senior, Youth, and Leisure Service (SYLS) department arranges for the set-up at the garden ans is the go-to-person for the evening. The Park’s department directors, Mike Anello and Al Werner make sure the garden is beautiful and arranges the tent and chairs. Ronni Zuckerman did this for many years until her retirement from the SYLS department.
The beautiful voices of the Livingston High School Choral Group under the direction of Joshua Salzman bring joy to the hearts and tears to the eye of everyone int he audience. We are proud to end the program by joining them in “God Bless America.” Like all volunteers, Bob Kilroy says, “I was waiting for your call.” The Boy and Girl Scouts are ready to serve as honor guards and present the white roses as the names of those who were lost are read out loud.
Michele Meade, our Township Manager, finds it difficult to read a poem and read the names because of the emotions that they evoke, but she succeeds with the support of Brian Boyle, a Vietnam Veteran, who tolls the bell. The invocations and benedictions are performed by the Livingston clergy. This year the benediction will be given by Father Brian Needles of St. Philomena’s Church and Rabbi Clifford Kulwin of Temple B’nai Abraham. All the past Township of Livingston Mayors have participated in the Ceremony of Remembrance. This year Mayor Stephen Santola gave a talk to the many dignitaries, relatives and survivors present at the 9-11 Ceremony. The Ceremony concludes with Tim Griffin and his daughter, Gabby, playing Taps. It’s awesome.
As the Chairperson I call each of these people each year. It is an absolute delight to connect with them again and hear how important it is to them to continue to participate in the 9-11 Ceremony of Remembrance. They have my undying gratitude and should be recognized by the community for their dedication.
Thank you for those who get the word out:
- Joel Lightner and Joel Goldberg of LTV
- Past and present editor, Nancy Diner of the West Essex Tribune
- Susan Ridley, Livingston 9-11 Memorial website
- Ellen Lazer, Township of Livingston webmaster
- Jessica Lipper, Livingston Board of Education.
The roses are donated by Livingston Shop-Rite.
These are just the few names of those who have helped to keep the memory alive, and for anyone who has not been mentioned, I thank you!