Jersey City community and officials pay tribute to 9/11 victims at a Memorial Ceremony

by Ricky Rillera

|9/11 Memorial Ceremony in Jersey City, NJ | Photo via Mayor’s Office

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Jersey City held its 9/11 Memorial Ceremony along the waterfront directly across the Hudson River from the World Trade Center. Led by Mayor Steven M. Fulop, he was joined by Hudson County dignitaries, City Council members, friends and family who lost loved ones, and community members to pay tribute to the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

First responders read the names of each Jersey City resident lost on that fateful day aloud. One of them is Filipino American Manuel L. Lopez, vice president of the federal tax department at Marsh & McLennan, his employer for 15 years. He worked on the 98th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center.

According to news accounts, his remains were not positively identified at once. On Nov. 16, two months after the tragedy, officials made the identification using DNA tests.

Manuel L. Lopez | PDM File Photo

Lopez left behind his wife, Rosalia, daughter, Minnie Rose Morison, and son, Manny Jay Lopez. He had two sisters, Jovita Lozano of New York and Avelina Cabal, and two brothers, Geronimo Montero and Benjamin Montero from the Philippines. He was buried in Arlington Cemetery, Kearny, in Jersey City. He was 54 years old.

“It is important that we commemorate Sept. 11 every year to remember the lives lost on that tragic day and ensure that history does not repeat itself,” said Mayor Fulop. “Jersey City played an important role in supporting the first responders 22 years ago, and I want to thank our first responders and the community for being here today. We must never forget.”

The City’s 9/11 memorial, which consists of twisted steel beams from Ground Zero with a backdrop of the World Trade Center, provided a solemn but poignant memory as the names of the Jersey City residents who perished in the terrorist attacks were read. Their names are etched on the memorial to ensure those lost on that tragic day never to be forgotten.

Council President Joyce Watterman was among those present who delivered a message during the ceremony.

“My condolences to the family and friends in the community who lost loved ones. I want to thank our first responders. We do this every year because we want to remember what happened on our land, which is important considering what America stands for. We want to remind those who invaded us that we will not quit. We will not give up. When we are faced with challenges, we unite as a country.”

On the day of the attacks in 2001, the City said, the area where the memorial now stands became a triage center of emergency responders providing aid and assistance to those who sought refuge in Jersey City.

Jersey City Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Gorman remembered that day. He was one of the many emergency workers who responded to Ground Zero.

“The day of the terrorist attacks, we were in shock. In the days that followed, we watched as the spirit of the United States came alive like never before. We remember every day, and we come together every year on this day to revive that spirit.”

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