In the Press...
APP article on 9/11 memorial w/ family of victims, Smith, officials'Always feels just like yesterday for me'
'New Jerseyans remember victims of 9/11 attacks at ceremonies across the Shore'
By Joe Strupp and Amanda Oglesby
- Asbury Park Press | USA TODAY NETWORK – NEW JERSEY
For Karen Cangialosi, Sept. 11 will always come down to a missed phone call.
“I was getting ready to go to work and the phone rang, but I didn’t get to it in time,” Cangialosi recalled Sunday, the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks. She later found out it was her husband, Steven, calling their Middletown home from his office at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center’s north tower. Soon after, a friend called and urged her to turn on the television. That’s when she found out what had happened.
“I was just hoping he was alive,” Cangialosi recalled during Sunday’s annual Monmouth County 9/11 Memorial Service at Mount Mitchill’s scenic overlook in Atlantic Highlands. But Steven was among the 147 county residents — and 37 from Middletown — who perished on that day and were acknowledged during the morning ceremony.
“It is still sad,” said Cangialosi, whose two sons are grown now but declined to attend. “I come because no one else in my family wants to come.”
But several hundred other residents and officials took part in the Sunday event atop the overlook, which offers a clear view of lower Manhattan, where the terrorist attacks occurred more than two decades ago. The site is also home to the county’s official 9/11 memorial, which depicts a large American Eagle and lists the names of those from Monmouth County who died that day.
Karen Cangialosi, formerly of Middletown, whose husband, Steve, died in the 9-11 attacks, at the 2022 Monmouth County Memorial event. Joe Strup
Among those at the event was Edward Shmitt, a Red Bank resident who was working for Fiduciary Trust in the south tower when the attacks occurred.
“It always feels just like yesterday for me,” said Shmitt, who wears a metal bracelet with the names of 87 co-workers killed that day. “It is still emotional and upsetting.”
Rep. Chris Smith, R-Monmouth, was among those in attendance who spoke, describing the feelings of that day as “excruciating shock and horror.”
“That’s the only way to have our youth see it as a day of remembrance,” Arnone said, “recognize this day more than just a day of going to events.”
Several local communities held their own remembrances, including Marlboro Township, where Mayor Jon Hornik said he always dreads the day: “It’s a day that’s filled with pain and emotion. But also with hope.”
In Toms River, firefighters and police in dress uniform honored the victims of the attacks with a ceremony before the firefighters’ memorial at Washington and Robbins streets.
They stood in silent salute during the ringing of the firefighters’ bell, a ceremony to honor the 343 New York City firefighters, as well as the dozens of other police officers and first responders, killed that day in the attacks. They also remembered the others who helped and later died or suffered health effects from exposure to toxic materials at ground zero.
“It was tragic for the fire service, those 343 members [killed],” said Fire Chief Chris Vicidomini of Toms River Fire Company No. 1.
But the tragedy extended beyond, to police, EMS and thousands of civilians who were killed on what had started as a “regular, run-of-the mill Tuesday” like any other, he said.
“It’s important that we continue to do [the Sept. 11 ceremony] and show tribute to those that lost their lives,” said Vicidomini.
The ceremony ended with a minute of silence and the sounding of the fire siren on Robbins Street.
Toms River Police Chief Mitchell Little showed his support, standing among the firefighters by the firefighters’ memorial statue. First responders from the township traveled to New York City that day to help in the hours after the attack, he said. The town is still affected, Little said.
“There are constant reminders,” said Little, “Every time we go to work, every time we see family members, every time we see citizens that may have lost someone, or were affected sometimes by the original day, sometimes by the sickness that they have now from the event. So it never goes away. It’s always there.”
This article ran on Page 1 of the Sept. 12, 2022 print edition of the Asbury Park Press and can be found at: