MCCC Commemorates 9-11

9-11-09

WEST WINDSOR, N.J.: Before a gathering of approximately 90 dignitaries, guests, faculty, staff and students at Mercer County Community College, Cindy Orlandi, an instructor at the Mercer County Fire Academy and a captain of the Pennington First Aid Squad, related her experience as a first responder on 9-11-01. "I still remember my Mom saying to me, 'Please do not go…you have a family." With the support of her husband and two daughters, Orlandi did go. "We saw distraught looks which will never be forgotten," she said, adding that many will continue to pass away during the aftermath as they experience lung problems.

 

Placing a wreath at MCCC's Memorial Bench are President Patricia C. Donohue, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gilbert of the New Jersey State Police, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

Lt. Col. Thomas Gilbert, who represented the New Jersey State Police at the commemoration ceremony - the college's eighth - said, "The threat remains real." He spoke about the ripple effect from all those affected. "Although the ripples have subsided on the surface, there is still a lot of impact... We have a commitment to try to work hard so that this never happens again."

MCCC President Patricia Donohue said, "As we gather in the spirit of freedom across the country, we commemorate our losses. Our first responders played a key role." She notes that MCCC trains fire fighters and police officers. More than 400 students are currently studying criminal justice at Mercer.

County Executive Brian Hughes noted that many students on campus were only nine or ten years old when this happened. "How do we share the relevancy with them? On that day, we knew what it felt like. The pain, the anguish was broadcast all over the world. We shared the pain."

Rev. Robert M. Wittik of Campus Ministries gave the invocation at the event, and MCCC Music student, Liz Csogi sang The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America.

The names of the 30 Mercer County residents who died in the attacks were listed in the program.

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