PARAMUS, N.J. – On the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, police chiefs from throughout Bergen County gathered at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus Monday afternoon.
“We’re remembering the people that passed and remembering how it brought our country together,” Oakland Police Chief Edward J. Kasper, president of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, said following the ceremony in front of association’s 9/11 memorial on the second floor of the mall.
The memorial dedicated in 2002, reads in part: “We memorialize the resiliency, resolve and loving compassion of the American people…our beacon of hope shining through the darkness.”
Every year since the memorial was created, the association has held the ceremony that also serves to honor first responders.
During Monday’s ceremony, the Star-Spangled Banner was sung, the Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County performed Amazing Grace, and Rev. Fr. Thomas J. Norton, Chaplain for Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, offered prayers.
Norton said he has been offering prayers at each ceremony for the past 15 years.
“I am very supportive of all law enforcement and first responders. I try to be a source of strength to them for the difficult things they go through,” he said.
Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal and former Hillsdale Police Chief Frank A. Mikulski, who in 2002 served as the president of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, also spoke.
“There are no adequate words to describe the horror of what happened on 9/11,” Grewal said.
“We have shown our resiliency, our determination to survive, overcome, move forward with compassion,” Mikulski said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.