TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Members of the Trenton Fire Department ran together through the city in Remembrance of all the lives lost Sept 11, 2001. The route started at Headquarters, escorting Runners and Bicyclists to each and every fire station. Ending at Station 1 on Calhoun St, all participants accumulated over their goal of 9.11 miles.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–It is hard to believe that 19 years ago we woke up to a beautiful September morning, readied ourselves for work, school, or wherever else our day would take us, not knowing that soon all of our lives would change forever.
Today, we pause to remember the lives that were tragically cut short, their loved ones, family members, and friends who each year honor those they lost and cherish the memories they made together. Today, we thank our first responders who heroically ran in – not knowing what lied ahead.
Today, we remember all those who gave of themselves only to become sick in the years following, from their days as rescue workers. Today, we thank all involved to help rebuild our Pentagon, create memorials across the country, and construct the Freedom Tower, united in American pride.
ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Flags that were in place for 19 years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were removed recently by the NJ Turnpike Authority. Today a “Replacing American Flags” event was held at Community Park on West Manor Way and Gordon Roads hosted by Robbinsville Township Police PBA Union #344 that has been maintaining flags in Robbinsville, NJ.
In the early years the flags were placed initially on many overpasses by unknown individuals throughout the State. In Robbinsville Dino Colarocco (retired) from Public Works along with Joy Tozzi Township Administrator were instrumental getting flags replaced early in the process. Currently the Robbinsville Township Police Union has been maintaining the flags and recently purchased 20 flags to replace old tattered flags on the overpasses.
Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said, “This institution is non-negotiable. Proud to help re-hang Old Glory on the NJ Turnpike overpass near Community Park on this most solemn day.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) was in support of hanging the flags and helped hang a flag on the Turnpike overpass. Rep. Smith also talked about the the flags hanging since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Lieutenant Commander, US Navy (Retired) Steven Rogers who is part of Campaign for America was also on scene helping with replacing the flags.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when terrorists hijacked four airliners in order to commit the worst act of terrorism in American history.
Nearly 700 New Jerseyans—147 from Monmouth County alone—lost their lives that day.
No one remembers the shock, horror and numbing sorrow more, however, than the families and close friends of the victims.
Because it was a surprise attack, there was no chance to fight back that day although when Todd Beamer and other passengers learned what happened to the Twin Towers, Todd famously said “let’s roll” and they attacked the terrorists on board the flight that crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
Who can forget the courageous first responders running up the stairs of the burning buildings—with total disregard for their own safety.
On the morning of 9/11, I got a mere glimpse—I say again, a mere glimpse—into the sense of horror suffered by the victim’s families when I couldn’t reach my own brother Tom—an American Airlines 757 Captain who often piloted Flight 11 from Logan to LA, the flight that crashed into the North Tower.
Evacuated from the Capitol and stuck in traffic within sight of the burning Pentagon, cell phones were all but gridlocked. About noon I got through. He and his flight attendant wife Sandy were safe but were in anguish because they knew the pilots and crew on board Flight 11.
For 19 years, the families and friends of those who died that day and since have had to endure their loss and a broken heart.
Both then—and now 19 years later—words are inadequate to convey our empathy for those who died and for the victims’ families.
For many, their faith in God has helped them survive and overcome.
Some, including the Jersey Girls—four amazing women who lost their husbands at the World Trade Center—pushed the Congress to create the historic and transformative 911 Commission that was led so effectively by former Governor Tom Kean.
As you know, 19 years later, the consequences—the ongoing loss of life and health attributable to 9/11—are even worse than anyone could have ever imagined.
Congress enacted the World Trade Center Health Program Fund (WTCHP) & Victims Compensation Fund to provide health services for responders at the three crash sites, and others in the vicinity of the WTC site for health conditions related to toxic exposures from the attacks.
Of the 105,272 individuals enrolled in the program—9,157 are from New Jersey alone—and a total of 19,150 responders and survivors have been diagnosed with cancer and more than 3,500 have died after September 11th .
Rigorous testing and early interventions offer some hope to those manifesting illness.
So today, we remember and honor all the victims of 9/11—past, present and future.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Early this morning news spread that Trenton Fire Director Derrick Sawyer had resigned his post. The resignation came after frustrations with City Council.
Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora told MidJersey.News, “I am deeply grateful to Fire Director Derrick Sawyer for his service to me and the people of Trenton. A professional and class act, Director Sawyer’s leadership, data-driven decision making, COVID-19 emergency response, and his respect for our residents and employees, elevated all of us and made our city stronger. I wish him and his family well in the months and years ahead.”
Prior to coming to Trenton and taking the post of Fire Director, according to Firefighter Nation “Battalion Chief Derrick Sawyer has been a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department for 25 years. He has a degree in fire science and is in his fourth year of the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) at the National Fire Academy. Sawyer is a 2009 graduate of the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute, a 2010 graduate of Leadership Philadelphia and has obtained certification in the following areas: Fire Officer, Fire Service Instructor and Fire Inspector. Chief Sawyer was the liaison for the Philadelphia Fire Department to NFPA’s 2009 Urban Fire Safety Project.”
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Fire Department, IAFF3786 members along with the police department and government officials conduct a September 11 memorial service today in the Town Center section of town at the memorial on Lake Drive. The site is dedicated to Robbinsville resident Pamela Gaff who was lost that day at the World Trade Center in NYC.
Chief Dan Schaffener began today’s annual remembrance ceremony honoring the 343 firefighters and all those who perished on September 11, 2001. We also remember those who have passed since from cancer and other complications from 911.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A 26-year-old Hamilton man was arrested this week and charged with sexually assaulting women at two separate gatherings at his Liberty Street residence last year.
Eridson M. Rodriguez, is charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and two counts of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion for Rodriguez’ detention.
The prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit and the Hamilton Police Division have been working with the victims and investigating the assaults since last year. This month, facts and circumstances allowed for criminal charges.
Rodriguez is accused of having intercourse with two women, ages 19 and 20, who were intoxicated and incapacitated during gatherings at his house in March 2019 and again in May 2019.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Shari Johnson of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at (609) 989-6758 or Hamilton Police Detective Daniel Inman at (609) 581-4000.
Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.