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Township News

Posted on: September 12, 2020

Middletown Remembers 9/11 With Morning and Evening Tributes

91120 evening tribute

For Immediate Release – September 12, 2020


MIDDLETOWN, NJ – On Friday, September 11th, Middletown Township held a morning reading of the names and evening silent wreath laying and candlelight tribute at the World Trade Center Memorial Gardens to honor the 37 residents we lost in the World Trade Center attack 19 years ago. The Memorial Gardens, located next to the Middletown Arts Center (36 Church Street), rest under a canopy of trees and features a landscaped path with benches and a personalized memorial to honor each life.

The morning tribute was a poignant service led by Mayor Tony Perry. “Nineteen years ago, our community promised to never forget the 37 souls we tragically lost at the World Trade Center attacks,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “When New York City initially decided to cancel the annual reading of the names, Middletown felt compelled to continue this important tribute in their honor and to never forget.” Mayor Perry, surrounded by Middletown’s First Responder Chiefs, read each name aloud and Fire Chief Russell W. Mount III tolled a bell donated by the Port Monmouth Fire Company in memory of each Middletown resident who perished on September 11, 2001.


The evening tribute began at 7:30 PM. Mayor Tony Perry and the Middletown Township Committee led the wreath laying ceremony and candlelight walk through the Memorial Gardens. About 300 people attended the service while adhering to social distancing guidelines, including 9/11 victims’ family members, neighbors, Township Committee members, local dignitaries, representatives from Middletown’s Police and Fire Departments, Office of Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services, as well as contingents from American Legion Posts 338 and 515 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2179. Everyone bowed their heads in a moment of silence at dusk. The silence was broken by 37 bell tolls rung by Fire Chief Russell W. Mount III and Deputy Chief John Friedmann.

"In the days and weeks following the 9/11 attacks, we rallied as a Nation after witnessing first responders running towards danger, the patriotism that was displayed as flags decorated our lawns, and the heart-wrenching pain we felt for those we lost and who they left behind,” said Mayor Perry. “Despite the horrors we watched unfold, we bonded as Americans and our pride in our country was unwavering. We united as a country rather than focusing on any differences that could drive us apart. May we continue to rise together as a community, and as a country, and remain hopeful when faced with darkness.”


Residents honored at the Memorial Gardens are as follows:

  • Lorraine D. Antigua
  • Jane S. Beatty
  • Donna Bernaerts-Kearns
  • Alfred J. Braca
  • Ronald M. Breitweiser
  • Patrick J. Buhse
  • Stephen J. Cangialosi
  • Swede Joseph Chevalier
  • Dolores Marie Costa
  • Edward Desimone III
  • Michael Egan
  • David Ferrugio
  • Daniel J. Gallagher
  • John M. Grazioso
  • Felicia Hamilton
  • Patrick A. Hoey
  • Kathleen A. Hunt Casey
  • Brendan Mark Lang
  • Roseanne P. Lang
  • Anna A. Laverty
  • Michael Patrick McDonnell
  • Peter T. Milano
  • Louis J. Minervino
  • Justin John Molisani, Jr.
  • James Thomas Murphy
  • Christopher Newton-Carter
  • Paul R. Nimbley
  • Robert Emmett Parks, Jr.
  • Nicholas P. Pietrunti
  • John M. Pocher
  • Beth Ann Quigley
  • Gregg Reidy
  • Robert Andrew Spencer
  • Dick Stadelberger
  • Kenneth Tietjen
  • Anthony Ventura
  • Rodney James Wotton


September 11th is recognized annually as Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance in Middletown Township by the Middletown Township Committee. Flag banners are installed annually as a tribute to the September 11th victims. The flag banners hang on telephone poles along Kings Highway, Church Street and Middletown-Lincroft Road. The banners are sponsored by local businesses, organizations and individuals. The flag banner display became part of the Township’s annual 9/11 commemoration in 2011. The project was spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore, who served as Mayor in 2011 and 2012.

The Memorial Gardens were developed by the Middletown WTC Memorial Committee, a group consisting of family members and interested residents. The Memorial Gardens were opened to the public on September 11, 2003. Construction of the memorial was made possible largely through donations. Visitors are welcome at the Middletown WTC Memorial Gardens, located at the Middletown Arts Center at 36 Church Street, from dawn to dusk daily. The Gardens continue to be maintained with financial assistance from the Middletown WTC Memorial Gardens Fund in partnership with Middletown Township.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Middletown WTC Memorial Gardens Board is raising money to add a fountain called “The Rise of Hope” that will be erected near the end of the memorial pathway, giving a quiet space to pause and reflect. They will also be honoring the heroism and patriotism of our First Responders with an additional monument. If you would like to contribute, donations can be sent via PayPal to MiddletownWTC@gmail.com.


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View photos from Middletown's 9/11 Tributes.