In Your Words: Remembrances Of Sept. 11, 2001

The township’s Sept. 11 Memorial, located outside the township library, in the DeMott Lane Municipal Complex.

The Franklin Reporter & Advocate recently asked readers of our Facebook page to share with us their most prominent memory of the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001.

We preset them here, in commemoration of the 16th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

  • Chris Lynn Schwarz: Trying to go on with the school day as if nothing was happening. Stunningly clear blue skies with thick black smoke. Crying. (Sorry…I know the question was one…but that is impossible)
  • Jennifer Janin: I was teaching kindergarten in a former charter school in town. We were practicing walking in the hallway when the headmistress told me. Obviously I had no words. Little by little the students left. We were closed the next day but when we returned to school on the 13th, on the counter in my classroom, was a box of munchkins that we were supposed to eat to celebrate “Nicole’s” birthday. I think about her every year and cry about what happened on her 5th birthday. Happy 21st birthday Nicole!
  • Joan Mannix-Moedt: Standing at Ideal Beach after seeing smoke in the sky and having an elderly man tell me the skies are going to close. This was an attack. I left and got my kids out of school.
  • Karen Trautmann: Working in the office of residence life at Rowan U when a counselor came running through yelling we were under attack.
  • Rich Seamon: I was working at Newark Airport managing monorail construction and saw the second plane hit. However my most vivid memory is driving home on Route 78 after both towers fell, able to see the smoke in my rear view mirror and seeing dozens of emergency vehicles and utility company trucks heading towards NYC on Route 78 as I was driving home. It was a very eerie sight, I’m sure most of these people had no idea what they were driving towards.
  • Rob Trautmann: I was in college at Rutgers, my brother called and his voice leaving a message on my answering machine woke me up. I remember him saying to stay home and not go to class because we were under attack. I woke up the rest of our housemates and we spent the morning watching the news in shock.
  • Kathleen Bender: Seeing it on the news as happening: so anxious and worried for my nieces and families whom worked and lived there!!! Angelica Bender and Aimee Bender Means, Brian. So relieved when all were well!!!
  • JoAnn M. Lindenstruth: I too was teaching at PGM when the principal entered my room to deliver the unsettling news. My youngest was a Marine , the principle and I knew what could happen next, Thankfully my son remained in the states for a while. He later fulfilled his duties overseas for our wonderful country. I only wish that the protesters of today, yesterday and beyond could say that their children have also served to keep our strong and safe! All male and female should serve!
  • Mary-Frances Chavez: When was let home from work early… looking up in the sky driving down South Middlebush road noticing that there was not a single plane in sky and never realizing how common a vapor trail was.
  • Angelica Bender: I worked in midtown Manhattan and could not get home because transportation was suspended. I stayed at my sister’s apartment with a group of similarly stranded friends. As we watched TV coverage of the towers falling over and over again everyone became increasingly anxious about the fate of a friend who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. Sadly he did not survive.
  • Linda Raimondi: I was just emerging from the World Trade Center Path station when the first plane hit. I ran all the way over to my office building on the east side of Manhattan on water Street not knowing exactly what had happened at that time. Hours and hours later when rescue movements had begun we were loaded onto one of those little New York ferries to take us to Hoboken so we could get back home to New Jersey. My most lasting memory however is the blue blue sky as the ferry traveled across the harbor and looking at what was once the New York skyline only to see rubble and smoke. Any time the sky is totally blue especially on a crisp fall day that memory comes back to me. It never ever leaves me!
  • Ruthann Folsom Adinolfi: On my way into manhattan to visit my mom in hospital when 1st plane hit. Obviously could not get there for a few days afterwards.
  • Sharif Muhammad: As an actual 9/11 survivor that was at the WTC, it is a memory I try not to reflect upon. However, the beauty of the day prior to the carnage has always stuck with me over the years.
  • Jim Zeitler: Walking up a flight of stairs at work as the radio in the mailroom announced the second plane hitting the other tower. I stopped dead in my tracks as I realized this was no longer an “accident”.
  • Nancy Leonard Gale: Driving in the car on Easton Ave and hearing the news on the radio of the first plane hit the WTC (although we didn’t know it was the “first”).
  • Margaret Clementi Reeve: Returned home from dropping my young son at Franklin Park School, picked up my coffee cup and stood in front of the TV just as the second plane hit. Stood frozen – disbelief – fear about what was to come – and an overwhelming feeling of needing my child back home to just sit and hold him in my arms.
  • Irene Fisler: Standing in the Atlantic Highlands harbor and watching the smoke billowing out of tower one. I left before the towers fell.
  • Patricia Burton Pillsbury: I was teaching at PGM when someone came to my door and relayed that a plane had hit the twin tower. I went home ( near the school) during my prep to see TV and saw the footage of the second plane hitting the other tower. Soon after the Pentagon was hit. I started gathering my camping supplies and filling my living room with everything I needed to survive. My destiny was Vermont where I owned some land. My plan was to leave as soon as school was out. I remember returning to school and being outside with my class watching the low flying 747s who were trying to land in Newark or NYC. It was a frightening day and somehow I had the presence of mind to think that I had to get away from obvious landmarks/cities that would be attacked. At that time, no one knew if more was going to happen.
  • Sam Velu: Scared and taken to the hospital with no communication.
  • Gerald Darby: Seeing arnaldo near tears because he could not get his wife on phone.
  • Dianne Persons Pydeski: Going to the Conference room at work to watch the news and seeing the second plane……
  • Anna Maguire Boardman: The sky – I remember taking special notice of how blue the sky was – it was perfect.
  • Jen Acer Tuck: Walking through an eerily quiet Times Square.
  • Eileen Chaneski Kontos: The day after, strangers became friends and friends became family.
  • Bob Lacorte: Seeing the f 18s flying overhead. The biggest thing everyone here were 1.
  • Sherrye Smith Hawkins: Coming in from driving my bus. And walking up on my porch and seeing the second plane hit!
  • Sylvia Corley Brink: Being surrounded by new friends as I start my first day of teaching in Franklin Park School.
  • Michael Magrino: Beautiful Sunny Day turned into a nightmare.
  • Janice Bell: Watching it happen on TV, tears & lots of prayers.
  • Jean Cortiglia: How to get to my family and all those who knew people in the building.
  • Candice Sidoriak: Just waking up and thinking I had turned on the history channel..
    Such devastation.

Six former or current township residents were killed on Sept. 11, 2001. They were:

  • Firefighter John Collins, 42
  • Stephen Joseph, 39
  • Ganesh Ladkat, 27
  • Vanesha O. Rodgers Richards, 26
  • Sheryl L. Rosner Rosenbaum, 33
  • Jeffrey Robinson, 38


Your Thoughts


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