On Sunday evening, September 11, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., Detective Michael Eden and I had the honor of attending the Forked River United Methodist Church, as they presented their 15th Anniversary 9/11 Service of Remembrance and Celebration. The service was led by Reverend Linda Applegate, assisted by Reverend Terry Chapman, and Reverend Lou Saldiveri. The remembrance opened with a Presentation of Colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, and Opening Prayers. The Merilee Singers played beautiful songs throughout the service, and various presenters spoke. The presenters included, Lacey Township Mayor Steven Kennis, Deputy Mayor Peter Curatolo, and Police Chief Michael C. DiBella. In addition, our local Fire, EMS and Dive Team services were honored and provided with bouquets of flowers for their outstanding volunteer service to the community.
Bernie Novack of the American Legion presented a Poem titled 9/11 Lest We Forget, followed by a prayer from Reverend Lou Saldiveri. There was a candle lighting, and TAPS was presented by William Moss of the American Legion. Fireman Bill Jones presented the Fireman’s prayer and the closing was provided by Reverend Linda Applegate.
Today marks 15 years since the tragic events that broke our hearts forever. We remember those who lost their lives that solemn Tuesday morning in New York City, Shanksville, Pa., and Washington D.C. We honor the countless first responders who sacrificed themselves and put themselves in harm’s way to save others. We also thank all of those who selflessly placed the needs of others ahead of their own that fateful day. We owe a great debt of gratitude to them.
Additionally, we acknowledge the members of the Lacey Township Police Department who volunteered to serve at Ground Zero after the attacks.
It is never easy to reflect on moments such as this one. There are no words that can define the senseless loss of life and destruction of that day. However, moments such as this also show the strength of America, and the devotion of our service to each other. Today, we remember those who lost their lives and honor those who demonstrated the American spirit of service.
Chief Michael C. DiBella and Officer Noah Schaffer