Monmouth County is shining a light to honor the heroes of 9/11
If you can spare five minutes, come out Saturday night, at 8:46 pm, to a spot in Monmouth County and help shine a light to honor the heroes of 9/11.
Monmouth County Commissioners have been working with local municipal leaders in setting up spots for you to go to Saturday, hold up your cellphone to light up the night sky in a thought and prayer filled solemn community remembrance event.
They hope everyone will join them to 'Light up the Shore'.
This was when terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan killing hundreds upon impact.
The same tragic crash occurred in the South Tower at 9:03 a.m.
In the years that have followed, family and friends continue to mourn the loss of a loved one and communities continue to gather in thought, prayer and service remembering the lives lost and honoring their memories and our heroes.
Recently, a resident in Belmar approached Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone hoping to do something a little different this 9/11 to honor those heroes.
"He said it would be really nice to do something special and I said 'sure, is there anything you have (in mind) in particular?,' and he brought something up about lights and obviously we can't light up anything during the day so I started to think," Arnone tells Townsquare Media News.
"I said, well the first unfortunate situation occurred at 8:46 in the morning, I figured how about we do something 12 hours later exactly at 8:46 pm and we have as many people either go to a destination along the shore by the beaches or parks or whatever the mayor of that municipality decides for that municipality and for three minutes take your cellphones or another device that (you) may have and let's just shine a light to show our remembrance of the 9/11 devastation that occurred."
Communities small and large across the tri-state area saw loss of life during and following the 9/11 attacks and post-response.
"There were 147 lives lost here in Monmouth County that day," Arnone said. "Those things can't be taken lightly and they can't be forgotten. They absolutely always need to be remembered."
In addition to the lights on the ground by residents and government leaders and first responders Saturday night, Arnone said he's been communicating with Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden on other possibilities for the occasion.
"I probably will be with Sheriff Golden, he's a big supporter of this initiative and more importantly he's going to assist me with possibly taking a drone over certain areas so we can show and highlight what Monmouth County has done," Arnone said. "It's special because I really think that it's important that the initiative has leaders to make sure that...we always tell people never forget, but we have to assist in having them never forget and this is just another initiative."
There's also a possibility in certain towns that first responders may use their own lights on vehicles to help light up the sky as well.
"I pretty much left that up to the individual municipalities," Arnone said.
Prior to this Saturday night initiative, there will be a separate 9/11 ceremony on Saturday morning.
Monmouth County Commissioners are inviting families of Monmouth County 9/11 victims to participate in the county 9/11 ceremony which will be held at Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook at 460 Ocean Boulevard in Atlantic Highlands beginning at 8:00 a.m.