TRIBUTE: “We will never forget and will always remember,” Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli told a large gathering of fellow chiefs, officers and dignitaries from throughout Bergen County at the annual 9/11 memorial service at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus.
Batelli, who is president of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, presided over the solemn ceremony at the 4-foot-high by 3-foot-wide granite memorial donated by the association in 2002.
“We gather here today, like we do all September 11th’s since this tragedy, to pay respect to those lost on that dreadful day and to tell those who survive that we will never forget and will always remember,” Batelli told an audience that included an honor guard, the Pipes and Drums of Bergen County, former chiefs and county Sheriff Michael Saudino.
Former Hillsdale Police Chief Frank Mikulski, who was the BCPCA president when the memorial was dedicated a dozen years ago, thanked Westfield Management and the Garden State Plaza for positioning it in a highly trafficked area outside Macy’s.
“We sought a prominent location so that literally tens of thousands of people can pass by this memorial and take a moment to reflect on the events of that day and honor all those who lost their lives,” Mikulski said. “And not just on the anniversary of September 11, but every day.
“It’s a constant reminder of the innocent lives lost as well as the sacrices of our first responders and military personnel preserving our safety every day.”
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