Stanhope remembers those lost on 9-11

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:53

STANHOPE n The cloudless sky was a carbon copy of the perfect, sun-filled day so many remember from the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Sunday, on the fourth anniversary of that day, the Borough of Stanhope dedicated its monument to the lives lost in the World Trade Center attack, including one of its own, borough resident Joseph B. Vilardo. Vilardo's family were the guests of honor at the ceremony that began with sixth grader Tommy Horak leading the Pledge of Allegiance, and the national anthem sung by Lenape Valley Regional High School student Julie Schwartz, who also concluded the ceremony with a moving rendition of "Amazing Grace." Rev. Harry DeKolp of the Stanhope United Methodist Church led those gathered in prayer and recalled his emotions of that day, speaking of the tragedy bringing people "back to God." Councilman Jack Mohrle read "The American Creed." Assemblywoman Alison Little McHose offered words of comfort. Mayor Diana Kuncken presided over the service and credited Department of Public Works Superintendent Bill Storms and DPW employee John Arbolino for creating and preparing the site and the monument. Kuncken spoke of 9/11 as a day that "changed our lives and introduced the word ‘terrorism' into our vocabulary," and added, "We hope that this monument will serve as a lasting tribute to those whose lives were lost and keep their memory alive in all of us." The monument consists of a large boulder and a section of a steel girder from the rubble of the Twin Towers. Instrumental in acquiring the girder was Administrator Teri Massood and Bill Storm, who actually procured the steel section. The monument is located at the park and playground at Musconetcong Avenue that was dedicated at Stanhope Family Fund Day. "We made a determination that this would be the perfect setting for monument," said Mayor Kuncken. A temporary sign in memory of Vilado will be replaced soon with a bronze plaque in his honor. "It's a beautiful tribute. It's wonderful to see the new people and those who have lived in this town a long time come together," said Stanhope resident Diane Goduto while holding back tears. Linda Steiner, who came with her husband their four daughters, said, "The ceremony was very heartfelt."