PASCRELL, DIVINCENZO TAKE MAJOR STEP IN SECURING
NATIONAL PARK STATUS FOR ESSEX COUNTY 9-11 MEMORIAL SITE
WEST ORANGE--U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) stood alongside Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and family members of 9/11 victims to announce introduction of federal legislation which would designate the Eagle Rock September 11th Memorial as a unit of the National Park System.
"September 11 was not the personal tragedy of New York City or Essex County alone," stated Pascrell. "Today the United States Congress will take its first step toward recognizing the importance of this astonishing Memorial to our profound, unforgettable American tragedy."
"Thousands of people flocked to Eagle Rock Reservation on the night of the attacks and in the following weeks to pay their respects, and turned the lookout spot into an impromptu shrine to their lost loved ones. Our September 11th Memorial properly honors the men and women whose lives were lost and provides family members and friends with a place where they can find solace and remember their loved ones," Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. said. "I thank Congressman Pascrell for recognizing the deep impact our Memorial has had and for sponsoring this legislation. Having our Memorial gain National Park status is a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives and to our historic Park System, the first county park system created in the United States," he added.
Pascrell's legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine the feasibility and suitability of designating the September 11 Memorial in West Orange as a unit of the National Park System.
The Eagle Rock September 11th Memorial was dedicated on October 20, 2002 by over two hundred family members of those who were lost in the attacks and by the state governor, and by Essex County and New Jersey State representatives.
The memorial uniquely contains a 120-foot granite, "Wall of Remembrance," with over 3,000 names, and hometowns or foreign countries of all who were lost in the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the four airline flights. It also features a "Book of Remembrance," which lists the names of people from Essex County who lost their lives.
"The Eagle Rock September 11th Memorial has for the past three years unified and inspired tens of thousands of Americans and visitors from around the world," said Pascrell. "Its designation as a National Historic Site would be a worthy commemoration of the morning when we all watched the skyline crash, felt our hearts break, and somehow drew together in unity and strength to ensure America would continue to be a beacon of liberty, compassion, and courage."
"I am proud to stand with Joe DiVincenzo and further advance this vision that he has helped turn into reality," stated Pascrell. "His leadership has been integral in the creation of this memorial, and I am excited to help bring it the national attention that it deserves."