Wantage hosts exhibit; Vernon plants 9/11 Survivor Tree seedling

| 09 Sep 2023 | 07:38

The Sussex Elks Lodge #2288 will host the National Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial from Sept. 8 to 11 at Woodbourne Park in Wantage.

The exhibit, called “Remembering Our Fallen,” opens at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8 and closes at 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11. An opening ceremony will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, there will be a reading of the “Soldier’s Cross” and a POW/MIA ceremony.

On Monday, there will be a September 11 Memorial Ceremony at 6 p.m.

The photographic war memorial honors those who died in the Global War on Terror, from the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, to Aug. 30, 2021, when U.S. troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting there.

The memorial, which is designed to travel, includes both military and personal photos. It was unveiled in September 2017 at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and continues to tour the nation. In 2020, a second identical memorial was completed.

The Franklin Revolver & Rifle Association, which is helping to bring the memorial to Wantage, is holding its annual Shoot-for-a-Cause Fun Match on Sept. 9 at the association’s range, 10 Buckwheat Road. Prizes will be awarded.

Volunteers and financial donors are encouraged to contact Bob Uzzalino at (845) 313-8634 or John Hadley at (973) 945-5323. For information, contact Helen Swingle at (973) 250-3276.

Survivor Tree seedling

Vernon will dedicate its 9/11 Survivor Tree seedling during a ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 at the municipal building, 21 Church St.

At the Township Council meeting Monday, Aug. 28, Mayor Howard Burrell explained that Vernon received a seedling from the 9/11 Survivor Tree, which was discovered at Ground Zero in New York City in October 2001.

The Callery pear tree was severely damaged, with snapped roots and burned branches, at the site of the collapsed World Trade Center towers, where about 2,600 people died in the terrorist attacks.

It was nursed back to health by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and in 2010 was replanted at the site of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in downtown Manhattan.

Three seedlings a year since 2013 have been sent to locations worldwide.

The seedling will be Vernon’s living memorial to the three residents killed in the terrorist attacks “as well as all of the other victims of 9/11 and their families,” Burrell said.

”This Survivor Tree seedling will also serve as Vernon’s living reminder of the resilience and survival of our nation and the American spirit,” he said.

The mayor thanked Notchwood Landscape for planting the seedling and resident Vernoy Paloini and Mishelle Downtain, the township’s director of community affairs, for their help in obtaining the seedling.

Paloini is a retired Vernon teacher who is a volunteer docent at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

This Survivor Tree seedling will also serve as Vernon’s living reminder of the resilience and survival of our nation and the American spirit.” - Howard Burrell, mayor of Vernon