West Windsor, NJ – On September 11, 2001, nearly 700 New Jerseyans -- the second highest casualty toll after New York -- perished during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and aboard United Flight 93.
For the past ten years, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) has hosted a commemoration of these tragic events. This year’s ceremony takes place on Tuesday, September 11, at 11 a.m. at the Student Center Memorial Garden, located on the West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road.
This year’s speaker will be Sgt. Michael Yeh of the Lawrence Twp. Police Department. Sgt. Yeh is a volunteer firefighter for Princeton Junction. He will speak about experiences at Ground Zero when he responded to the call as part of the NJ Urban Search and Rescue Team on 9/11. Hamilton resident and MCCC student vocalist Alison Varra will perform as part of the ceremony.
The college will host an additional event this year in partnership with the New Jersey State Museum. A panel discussion, “September 11 as Memory and History,” will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Conference Center at Mercer, also on the West Windsor campus. All members of the public, including high school and college students, are encouraged to attend.
Among the speakers are Dr. Craig Coenen, professor of history at MCCC, who will discuss the historical context of 9/11; Mike Kelly, a journalist for The Record (Bergen County); and Scott Knowles, professor of history at Drexel University, who will discuss how 9/11 might be remembered in the year 2051. A World Trade Center survivor and two New Jerseyans who lost family members in the attack will also present their stories.
The program is the first installment in a series organized by the New Jersey State Museum to complement its exhibition, “9/11: Reflections and Memories from New Jersey,” currently on extended view in the Museum’s main building in Trenton at 205 West State Street.
“Participants will have a unique opportunity to hear harrowing tales of escape and loss, along with heartwarming stories of benevolence and goodwill that came from 9/11,” said Anthony Gardner, director of the NJ State Museum.
The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and have a dialogue with panelists following the discussion. For more information, call 609-570-3378.
The 9/11 exhibit at the New Jersey State Museum, the first comprehensive exhibition to tell the story of September 11 from the New Jersey perspective, will be on display through July 2013. In September 2012, new artifacts on loan from the National September 11 Memorial Museum along with recently produced videos/digital materials will be rotated into the exhibit. For more information, call 609-292-5420, or visit the museum's website.