Monday, September 8th, 2008

More than 500 people Sunday evening attended Morris County’s observance of the 7th anniversary of 9-11.

They heard New York firefighter John Fila, who grew up in Boonton, tell of the horror of his firehouse having all 15 of the firefighters on duty the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, killed in their rescue attempts after two planes hijacked by terrorists hit the World Trade Center.

Among the firefighters killed was one who only a day or two before had asked if he could work for Fila on Sept. 11.

The county’s annual Remembrance Service and Candlelight Vigil was conducted at the Morris County September 11th Memorial on West Hanover Avenue in Parsippany, next to the county’s Public Safety Training Academy, where Fila said he received his training as a firefighter.

The September 11th Memorial pays tribute to all of those who died in the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., placing special emphasis on the 64 victims from Morris County whose names are engraved on plaques affixed to the Memorial’s base.

For the first time Sunday, the public had the chance to view ruby-colored paving stones engraved with the names of each of the nearly 3,000 people who died Sept. 11, and which have been set in the ground as a walkway surrounding the Memorial.

“Each paver is etched with the name of one of the innocent victims whose life was stolen from us,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Margaret Nordstrom. “Each paver and each plaque is a symbol of a person whose death September 11 left a gaping hole in the hearts of many.”