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September 11th – Images of Hope, Courage and Sacrifice Remain

By Kevin OToole 

Kevin J. O’Toole is the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This was first printed in the Bergen Record on 9/9/19. 

The most humbling duty that falls on the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is speaking on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. It was the second attack on the Trade Center, which was bombed on Feb. 26, 1993, resulting in the deaths of six adults and an unborn child. Nearly 3,000 souls were lost on 9/11. 

The loss of life – whether in numbers small or large – is always personal to the family and friends of the victims. Many of us in New Jersey and New York, lost family, friends and colleagues. The sum total of this loss is incalculable. 

Continue reading September 11th – Images of Hope, Courage and Sacrifice Remain
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The Ridgewood Blog Will Always Remember 9/11

PJ Blogger and the Staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, yes its that very sad time of year again where we remember those we lost on September 11, 2001 .At last count this blogger lost 267 friends and colleagues on that day. Some where local residents but many were from years working downtown in the Financial district .

Continue reading The Ridgewood Blog Will Always Remember 9/11

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Glen Rock September 11th Observance


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Glen Rock NJ, On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at 6:30pm,(rain or shine) Residents will gather as a community at the Memorial at Veterans’ Park on Main Street in Glen Rock for a formal observance highlighted by song, lighting of candles and a reading of the names of our eleven Glen Rock residents. 

All are invited to visit the Memorial throughout the day for personal reflection and prayer.

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Christine Todd Whitman Should Lower Her Head in Shame

by Jim Arakelian and the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Christine Todd Whitman was parading herself on CNN knocking President on environmental issues. Whitman is same person that said “yes it’s save to breath the air during 9-11”. The same person that started the destruction of the NJ Public Employees Pension System. The same person that was a RINO for her entire term as Governor. How many people did she kill from cancer with that famous 9-21 call? Some folks have no shame!

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Firefighters and First Responders Converge on DC in Support of the Zadroga Act

9/11 wtc

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, It’s been almost 18 years since the tragic terror attacks of September 11th, but thousands of people in the tri-state area are still living with effects from that day. There have been over 9,000 cancer diagnoses due to exposure to toxins during the rescue and clean-up efforts at Ground Zero.

Continue reading Firefighters and First Responders Converge on DC in Support of the Zadroga Act
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Gottheimer Stands with 9/11 First Responders as Compensation Funds Slashed, Cosponsors Legislation to Protect Victims, Families, and Heroes

9/11 wtc

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

GLEN ROCK, NJ — Today, Congressman Gottheimer released the following statement on news that the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) would begin cutting future awards.

“It’s completely unacceptable that the United States would abandon those that protected us in our darkest hour. We have a solemn duty to care for every single person, like Detective Zadroga, who was called to duty after 9/11,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Act which will fully fund and extend the VCF established by the Zadroga Act. I will always stand with 9/11 victims and their families and I will never stop fighting for them. They were heroes who stood up against terror and stood by our heroes.”


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FDNY Lt. Joe Torillo (Ret.) who survived being buried twice on 9/11 detailed his experience on 9/11 to Midland Park Students


photos courtesy of Midland Park Police

October 13,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Midland Park NJ, Midland Park Police spoke at Midland Park High School Career day . According to the Midland Park Police ,they had an opportunity to meet many students at the MPK HS career day. They had a great time talking to the students and showing them some of the equipment we use.

The career day event was followed by an inspirational speaker. Lt. Joe Torillo (Ret.) FDNY who survived being buried twice on 9/11 detailed his experience on 9/11 and inspired all of us to be the best we can be. His story is miraculous and his message to the students was memorable. The link below is from one of his speaking events it’s worth viewing.

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Remembrance Mass for the victims of 9/11 will take place Monday at Mt. Carmel Church at 7 p.m


September 11,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, A mass in remembrance for the victims of 9/11 will take place Monday September 11th at Mt. Carmel Church at 7 p.m

Remembrance Exhibit of 9/11 Portraits during the month of September for the “Ridgewood’s Twelve”. During the entire month of September an exhibit of “Portraits” will be displayed in the Belcher Auditorium at the Ridgewood Public Library. The Library is open 7 days a week.  The exhibit of pictures honors the memory of each of “Ridgewood’s Twelve” and  offers a quiet place for reflection.

A ceremony honoring the 147 Bergen County residents who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be held Sunday in Overpeck County Park in Leonia.

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Kelly: A motel in South Hackensack may finally solve a 9/11 mystery

9/11 wtc

Great Work by Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly , Record Columnist, @MikeKellyColumnPublished 6:08 a.m. ET March 24, 2017 | Updated 3:23 p.m. ET March 24, 2017

The cramped, first-floor motel room on the noisy stretch of Route 46 in South Hackensack isn’t much to look at now. Just a double bed, a picture window, a dresser, a tiny bathroom. But in the coming months, this unlikely spot — Room 506 at the Congress Inn — may play a key role in helping to answer one of the most explosive questions that linger from the 9/11 attacks.

photo by ArtChick

Just before that fateful day more than 15 years ago, two Saudi Arabian men who were part of the 9/11 hijacking team rented Room 506. They forked over $19 a night, then waited. Investigators say the two suicide-killers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — kept to themselves, offering no hints of the murderous scheme they were about to undertake.

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Garrett on Zadroga the Real Story

Scott Garrett and Jon Stewart
photo Rep. Garrett with Jon Stewart discussing the Zadroga Act
September 18,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  In response to misrepresentations of Congressman Garrett’s record, specifically on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, Garrett for Congress released the following fact check to clarify these falsehoods. Congressman Garrett voted for the legislation that first established the program and was a cosponsor of its reauthorization. He clearly supports the program, and clearly opposes its politicization – like when the legislation has been attached to unrelated tax increases or bloated spending bills. Additionally, many leaders in the Fifth District community are standing strong with Congressman Garrett, as seen by their statements below.

Robert Knapp, former Oakland Volunteer Fire Department Chief: “The community of Oakland is only a short car ride from New York City, and our residents remember both the heroism and the losses of September 11, 2001. In the days following the 9/11 attacks, I went to Ground Zero to lend my support. I saw the devastation and destruction first hand. Our residents also remember the advocates for our community in the aftermath – one of whom is Congressman Scott Garrett. Scott has fought for our First Responders and he has opposed efforts to politicize their struggles. Just as they stand strong in the face of adversity, we know we can rely on Scott to stand strong for them in the face of political pressure.”

Assemblyman Parker Space, former Wantage Fire Department Chief: “Scott Garrett is a champion for the brave men and women in uniform that serve the Fifth District. Any suggestion otherwise is a shameful smear manufactured to score cheap political points. I’ve known Scott for years and have personally witnessed his public service and dedication to our community’s First Responders. As a third generation firefighter, I’m deeply offended by the lies cooked up by some Washington, DC political operatives in a ploy to obscure the truth here in New Jersey.”

Freeholder Carl Lazarro: “After the horrible attacks of 9/11, thousands of firefighters, police officers and others have been out of work because of the illnesses they suffer as a result of their heroic sacrifices. Congressman Scott Garrett has been a vocal supporter of the Victims Compensation Fund established by the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and actively fought to have the program reauthorized. He has continually demonstrated his commitment to our First Responders and I am proud to stand beside him.”

Zadroga Fact Check

FACT: Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act bill in 2007 to provide compensation and treatment to workers who had been affected by the cleanup. This was a bipartisan piece of legislation, and solely addressed the needs of those affected by the 9/11 cleanup. Congressman Garrett was a cosponsor of this legislation.

FACT: Congressman Garrett again cosponsored the bill when it was reintroduced in 2009. Up through this, it was still a bipartisan effort and many were working together to find ways to pay for this program.

FACT: Democrats politicize the Zadroga Act by attaching it to a tax increase. Congressman Garrett voted against this legislation, outraged at this manipulation of the legislation.

FACT: Congressman Garrett voted for final passage of the Zadroga Act after the tax increases were removed by a Senate amendment. This legislation was then signed into law.

FACT: Reauthorization of the Zadroga Act was introduced in mid-April 2015. Congressman Garrett was again a cosponsor of this legislation.

FACT: Congressman Garrett wrote a letter to Congressional leadership asking for the Zadroga Act to be voted on by itself as stand-alone legislation, rather than being used as a political bargaining tool.

FACT: Congressional leadership attached the Zadroga Act to an unrelated year-end $1.1 trillion spending bill, using the legislation as an incentive to get votes for the passage of the underlying spending bill that was thousands of pages long and had a litany of other programs. Congressman Garrett could not support a $1.1 trillion government spending bill, despite strongly voicing his support for the permanent reauthorization of the Zadroga programs.