MANALAPAN — Its motto is "we will never forget," and for the 18th year following the 9/11 attacks, an annual walk commemorates three members of this community who died on that day in 2001.

The "Walk With Joe" started in memory of Flight 93 passenger Patrick "Joe" Driscoll, but its honorees grew to include Cantor Fitzgerald trader Chris Gray and FDNY veteran Tom McCann. Co-chairman Joe Zebrowski said it's more important than ever before to continue the event year after year, considering the lingering and tragic effects of 9/11-related illnesses.

"It's not just for these three people, but it's for all of the thousands that paid that price and, in more recent years, even been some focus on the people that continue to have health issues," he said.

Anyone familiar with the Walk With Joe, which "What's So Great About the Garden State" has featured each of the last three years, knows its location and general setup, at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan. This year's event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 7, with the walk starting at 10 a.m.

But Zebrowski said the opening ceremony that precedes the walk is worth showing up for as well, particularly as a showcase for the park's visitors center.

"We have great cooperation with the park people, the staff is great, and has just been very helpful," he said, adding that he and other organizers like to promote the park however and whenever possible. "We're in a good partnership, working with them every year."

A color guard, giant American flag, speeches, songs, and prayer will all be part of a heartfelt, upbeat, and patriotic display, and then a bagpiper will accompany walkers to the start.

Zebrowski is expecting about 500 participants this year.

To pre-register, go to walkwithjoe.com. You can find more information on this year's event there, by emailing joesfriends@walkwithjoe.com, or calling (732) 786-3437.

Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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