Posted Monday, October 29th, 2018

Randolph Resident and Morris County Park Commission Assistant Superintendent of Trails Honored

Russell J. Nee, a.k.a. Russ, a local Randolph guy, is quite well-known around Morris County, and for that matter around New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. If you ever had the pleasure to meet or work with Russ, you would immediately recognize a dedicated man who humbly serves others through both his work and volunteer commitments.

On September 11, 2018, Russ was the honored recipient of the distinguished Golden Spike Award from the September 11 National Memorial Trail Alliance, which he received at a ceremony in Shanksville, PA, at the site of Flight 93 crash.

Photo: Russ Nee (c) of Randolph, accepts the distinguished Golden Spike Award in Shanksville, PA from 9/11 Memorial Trail Alliance President Emeritus, David G. Brickley (L), of Woodbridge, Virginia, and Chairman of the Board of Director, Andy Hamilton (R) of Bucks County, PA.

Russ Nee (c) of Randolph, accepts the distinguished Golden Spike Award in Shanksville, PA from 9/11 Memorial Trail Alliance President Emeritus, David G. Brickley (L), of Woodbridge, Virginia, and Chairman of the Board of Director, Andy Hamilton (R) of Bucks County, PA.

Russ currently serves on the Alliance Board of Directors, working tirelessly on the project to complete 1,300-miles of trails connecting the triangular multi-modul of the three national 9/11 memorials. It begins in Washington, D.C. at the Pentagon, to Shanksville, the site of Flight 93 National Memorial, to New York City, at the former Twin Towers and now the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and then back to Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the trail is to serve as a remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives in the single worst terrorist attack on America.

Honoring 9/11 Sacrifices .... One Trail at a Time

Russ Nee at the dedication of the trail blazes in a section of the trail that  runs along Patriot’s Path in Morris County, with Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, Freeholder Doug Cabana, and Park Commissioner Betty Cass Schmidt

Spearheading this initiative in March of 2012, Russ joined a team of 12 project leaders to develop a five-year strategic action plan to create The 9/11 National Memorial Trail. Today, Russ with the support of the Morris County Park Commission, where he is Assistant Superintendent of Trails and Special Projects, continues to work towards connecting a network of trails and greenways to complete the memorial trail system.

“Great progress has been made towards the vision to establish a memorial trail to honor and remember those individuals who lost their lives on 9/11, and to also provides some comfort to their families and loved ones,’’ said Nee.

“The trail is a tangible illustration of what is strong and good about America by connecting us not only to that infamous day of 9/11, but also to our natural resources, our history, and our commitment to support all of our nation’s citizens,” said Nee.

“If you decide to take a stroll on the 9/11 Memorial Trail, think about your journey as one of hope and remembrance, honoring the resilience and perseverance we have as a nation.’’

The first trail blazes were dedicated and installed on Morris County Park Commission’s signature Patriots’ Path trail in Randolph, New Jersey. The trail connecting New York City to the Pentagon has been completed. The Pentagon to Flight 93 Memorial is almost done, while the Flight 93 Memorial to New York City trail is 60 percent complete.Honoring 9/11 Sacrifices .... One Trail at a Time

The 9/11 National Memorial Trail is almost 50 percent off-road and connects with historic and cultural points of interest, from parks to wildlife refuges and art museums. It traverses Morristown National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and at least 43 other well-known sites.

Russ received his award from 9/11 Memorial Trail Alliance President Emeritus, David G. Brickley, of Woodbridge, Virginia, and Chairman of the Board of Director, Andy Hamilton of Bucks County, PA. He continues to work closely with those two gentlemen on the completion of the project coordinating with local stakeholders the use existing trails and establishing a co-alignment to move the trail completion forward. His current focus is on trial work around the spine of the route, particularly eastern Pennsylvania, the Delaware Water Gap region, and Liberty Water Gap trail.

As a more than 30-year veteran of the Morris County Park Commission, Russ manages, oversees, and maintains150-miles of county park trails, and works with volunteers, and several Boy Scout troops.

“Russ brings his passion and dedication to serve his community in everything he does, and has been a vital staff member to the Morris County Park Commission and its trails, and strives to ensure that everyone has a positive experience,” stated David Helmer, Executive Director of the Park Commission.

Russ is a dedicated firefighter and has served for more than 25 years with Randolph Company #2 Millbrook.

For more information on the 9/11 National Memorial Trail, visit 911trail.org  for details and updates.