By Sara Martino
Gloucester City News
The Brooklawn Police Department, several departments from surrounding towns and an escort of Warriors Watch motorcycle drivers escorted the precious artifacts of the three areas that were part of the devastation that occurred on 9/11/01.
Mayor Theresa Branella, Police Chief Francis McKinney, Police Captain Steve Saymon, Councilman Mike Mevoli, Commander Ted Howarth of the American Legion, Fire Department and EMS personnel and state representatives greeted the procession that ended at the Memorial Park in Brooklawn July 6.
It was a very emotional moment when the Cornell Steel truck pulled up with the 16-foot steel eye beam from the World Trade Center draped with the American Flag.
Capt. Saymon said the flag was the one that was flown over Independence Hall in Philadelphia the day before July Fourth.
A flag with the words “We will never forget” in honor of Flight 93 also covered the artifacts.
A container of soil from the Fight 93 National Memorial at Shanksville, PA, and a limestone block of granite from the Pentagon building that was also attacked on 9/11 were on the truck.
Howarth said the actual spot where the plane was forced down was Stony Creek near Shanksville.
Saymon was the driving force behind the quest to bring the artifacts to Brooklawn and was thanked by the Mayor, Senator Donald Norcross and Assemblyman Gilbert “Flip” Wilson for his efforts.
Saymon was a responder to the 9/11 terrorist attack on that unforgettable day.
“In another generation, the ‘Arizona’ Memorial Ship in Hawaii was very meaningful at that time. Now this generation has another moment to remember. We think about and honor those who lost their lives in both moments,” Norcross said.
Assemblyman Wilson added “God Bless You” to all who attended and to the families of the 9/11 disaster and thanked Saymon for his efforts.
Mayor Branella led some of the group in touching the artifacts and the crowd who were in attendance surged forward to touch them also, many of them school age children who appreciated the solemn moment.
Jim Alspach, one of the owners of Cornell Steel, said the artifacts will be housed in their company’s facility until they will be brought back for the special dedication that is scheduled for September 11 at the Memorial Park.
Howarth said the exact time will be announced later.
Jeff Thies, the driver of the extra long truck that respectfully carried the artifacts, said they left New York at about 4 a.m., made a few stops and then received their escort from the New Jersey Turnpike.
“We must remember those who are still serving their country and fighting terrorism,” Mayor Branella said.