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McGreevey Announces Events to Commemorate Tragedies of September 11th

(NEWARK)—Governor James E. McGreevey announced today the events scheduled to commemorate the tragedies of September 11th

“The events of September 11th shattered our domestic tranquility and threatened us all,” said McGreevey. “Our neighbors died. Our buildings fell. On America’s second day of infamy, tragedy struck our nation as terrorists attacked the twin towers of the World Trade Center and Washington and brought a flight originating from Newark down in a Pennsylvania field.” 

On the evening of Thursday, September 5th, the Governor and First Lady Dina Matos McGreevey will host a private reception at Drumthwacket for the families of victims of September 11th.  On Tuesday, September 10th, from 7 – 9 p.m. a Candlelight Vigil Memorial Service will be held at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.  This event is closed to the press and all members of the media are asked to respect the wishes of the victims’ families at the vigil. 

“The input we have received from victims’ families have indicated an overwhelming desire for the State of New Jersey to recognize and honor each New Jerseyan whose life was lost in the attacks,” said McGreevey.  “The vigil will abide by this sentiment. We will light a candle and conduct a reading of the names in honor of each New Jersey victim.”  

On September 11th, Governor McGreevey will take part in the commemoration services at Ground Zero, along with the victims’ families. “On the morning of September 11th, we are providing transportation for all New Jersey families who wish to attend the memorial services at Ground Zero,” said McGreevey.  “We will ensure the security and convenience of all families attending the ceremony.”   

Attendees will leave from the Liberty Science Center and ferry to Lower Manhattan at 7:00 a.m.  NY Waterways is providing ferry service to the buses free-of-charge.  Those who do not wish to drive directly to Liberty State Park will be provided with complimentary bus transportation to the Park by New Jersey Transit.  There will be park-and-ride pickup locations at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford and at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.  Lunch will be provided by the Red Cross upon return to Liberty State Park. 

Governor McGreevey is also asking all houses of worship in New Jersey to ring their bells in commemoration of the moments that each hijacked plane took the lives of so many innocent victims. The first two planes - which would eventually destroy the World Trade Center - struck the Twin Towers at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m. Flight 77 struck the Pentagon at 9:43 a.m. and flight 93, which originated out of Newark, was brought down in a Pennsylvania field at 10:10 a.m. 

At 5:30 p.m. on September 11th, there will be a concert at the Trenton War Memorial by The Orchestra of St. Peter By the Sea conducted by The Reverend Alphonse Stephenson.  The  performance will salute our nation’s history and proud intent to remain free from fear and compromise. A highlight of the concert will be the debut of “Patriot’s Vision”- a musical compilation of Americana orhestra. Governor McGreevey will serve as narrator for the performance.  

At 7 p.m. on September 11th, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with Thirteen/WNET, Johnson & Johnson, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, and Governor McGreevey, will present a free outdoor performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem at Liberty State Park beginning at 7:00pm.  Also featured in the performance will be the Westminster Symphonic Choir and guest soloists Dolora Zajick, Salvatore Licitra and Samuel Ramey.  The NJSO’s Music Director Emeritus, Zdenek Macal, will conduct this powerful and poignant performance.  Conducted in connection with memorial observances being held throughout the Metropolitan Area, this special event is intended to create a solemn occasion for reflection and remembrance.  It is also an opportunity to seek comfort in a performance of one of the most moving musical works ever composed.  The concert is being recorded by Thirteen/WNET and will be broadcast nationwide by PBS at 10:00pm that evening.  

“The intent of both of these concerts is to reach beyond words in expressing our emotions and to utilize the miracle of music to touch our hearts and minds,” said McGreevey. ”Only time’s healing touch and a continued outpouring of compassion and support can ease the profound suffering that has been inflicted upon our fellow citizens.”             

The State is also planning a permanent memorial to honor the 691 New Jerseyans who lost their lives on September 11th.  “As with every stage of the commemoration planning, I have respectfully requested the input of victims’ families as we develop this vital project,” said McGreevey. “We will ensure that the permanent memorial reflects the wishes of New Jersey’s families who lost loved ones on September 11th.  We look forward to working in conjunction with the victims’ families as we build a memorial that is both meaning and lasting.”           

In the coming months, there will be a series of open forums during which victims’ families will continue to have an opportunity to offer suggestions for the location and design of the permanent memorial.  In an effort to make these forums as productive and as open as possible, Governor McGreevey is forming an advisory group of September 11th families who wish to be involved in the development of the memorial.

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