County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2022

County Commissioners hosted 21st anniversary
9/11 Memorial Ceremony

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners hosted the Monmouth County September 11 Memorial Ceremony today at Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook with those who lost loved ones from Monmouth County on September 11, 2001.

“It is the job of each and every one of us here to make sure our youth realize the importance of this day and the history of this day,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone. “The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners feels very strongly that this day should never be forgotten. Our world has changed dramatically, but this is the one thing we need to stay united on and that is to make sure what happened on Sept. 11 does not happen again, is always remembered and never forgotten.”

“During the incredible tragedy and heartache of September 11, 2001, we saw extraordinary courage and sincere compassion. We saw that beacon of hope. We saw first responders stare death in the eye, willing to exchange their life for another. We saw selflessness as boat captains arrived over the horizon to assist with a mass evacuation. We saw the worst in humanity that day, but we also saw hope,” said Commissioner Ross F. Licitra, liaison to the Monmouth County Park System. “Hope is a powerful emotion. Hope inspires. Hope can move mountains. Hope creates strength.”

“We remember today the excruciating shock, pain and horror suffered by those who were murdered—147 from Monmouth County alone—and the anguish felt by their families and friends both then and now,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester). “We honor all of these brave Americans at this 9/11 memorial ceremony, and knowing that the perpetrators of violence and terrorism never take a holiday—nor can we. May each of us seriously recommit to prayer and works to ensure that violence in all of its ugly manifestations including terrorism be mitigated.”

In addition to the families and residents in attendance, the Board of County Commissioners were joined by Atlantic Watch Pipe and Drum Band, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Honor Guard, Wall Township High School students Ava Minall, Karina Minall and Nicole DiRocco, Knights of Columbus Council 11660 Highlands, the Count Basie Center Gospel Choir, Reverend Garry Koch of St. Benedict Catholic Church and Rev. Ronald Sparks of Bethel AME Church.

Mount Mitchill is home to the Monmouth County’s 9/11 Memorial which is a tribute to the 147 men and women who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. The path leading to the memorial chronicles the events of that day and at the center is the light stone sculpture of any eagle by local artist Franco Minervini. This eagle grasps a beam from the World Trade Center.

At 266 feet, this overlook in Atlantic Highlands sits on the highest natural elevation on the Atlantic seaboard (excluding islands) from Maine to the Yucatan providing beautiful views of Sandy Hook, Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay and the New York skyline. This 12-acre site is also home to Monmouth County's 9/11 Memorial.

In 2002, the Monmouth County 9/11 Committee formed and began making plans for a fitting tribute to the victims, heroes, and events of September 11th. The group’s first responsibility was to select a memorial to fit into Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook. The 9/11 Committee then embarked on a major fundraising effort to finance the Memorial. By midsummer 2005 the group exceeded its goal by raising $296,000. Continued donations will support the upkeep and maintenance of the Memorial.

Highlands, NJ—Monmouth County officials (L-R County Clerk Christine G. Hanlon, County Surrogate Maureen T. Raisch, County Commissioner Nick DiRocco, County Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone, County Commissioner and liaison to the County Park System Ross F. Licitra, County Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley and County Sheriff Shaun Golden) gathered at Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook to pay tribute to the 147 victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the County’s 9/11 Memorial Ceremony.