WE REMEMBER: The 9/11 Memorial at the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad headquarters will be dedicated Saturday to those who lost their lives, and to the responders who helped with the aftermath, in 2001. A steel beam from the World Trade Center is shown as part of the memorial. (Photo courtesy of William Shields)
By Wendy Greenberg
Saturday marks 20 years since some 3,000 lives were lost when two hijacked airplanes hit the World Trade Center in New York City, another struck the Pentagon, and one crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa. Nine of the dead were from Princeton and 17 others were from Mercer County.
Several area memorial observances are planned, including events in Princeton, at Rider University, and in Hopewell and Montgomery townships.
In Princeton, the Princeton 9/11 Memorial Committee will dedicate a permanent memorial at noon on Saturday, September 11. A ceremony will be held outside the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad headquarters at 2 Mount Lucas Road (inside with COVID-19 protocol in case of rain). The outdoor memorial is comprised of a nine-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center, as well as plaques describing the events of the day, and mileage to the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Shanksville plane crash sites. “We felt that 100 years from now, this will tell the story and have impact,” said Committee Chair William Shields.
During the ceremony, the names of the nine Princeton residents who died will be read, and first responders will be honored, said Shields, who explained that the names were culled from various sources. The fire bell will ring once after each of the nine names; and will sound again for the New York Police Department, Port Authority, Fire Department of New York, and members of the U.S. Intelligence communities. The last bell would be for all who died or suffered as a result of the attacks in the weeks or months following September 11, Shields said. The event will feature speakers, prayer, music, and the police honor guard will post colors.
“We think the town will be proud of this,” said Shields. “We are not closing a chapter but opening it up so others can read it.” more