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Local Officials Continue to Honor 9/11

Despite controversy, Barnegat and Pinelands will have memorials in place in a few short weeks

Standing in front of the Barnegat Township Municipal Building, Mayor Al Cirulli carefully looked over the pile of dirt and rubble in the building's parking area.

"This is going to be a place where if people want to come and reflect, any time of the day or night," Cirulli said. It may be difficult to envision today, but in just a few short weeks, Cirulli knows what will be standing there.

Working with officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and others in town, township officials have obtained a beam from the World Trade Center, which will serve as a memorial to 9/11. This is the second such memorial in the town. Another, donated last year, sits on the Barnegat Township High School football field, which is not easily accessible to people who have disabilities because of its location on the school's campus. Both beams were brought to the town through the efforts of Charles Giles, a Barnegat resident and 9/11 responder.

Giles said the same controversial truck that transported a tower piece recovered from the wreckage of Ground Zero to the high school last year escorted the township truck that brought this piece to the township as well. The truck, and the men that drove it, Thomas J. Scalgione, 40, of Manahawkin and Mark Anthony Niemczyk, 66, of Tinton Falls were recently accused of promoting a bogus 9/11 victims' charity by driving around in the pickup truck painted with the names of first responders who perished.

Cirulli said that he hopes that despite the fact that sthat it will not negatively impact the memorial's overall message and this particular beam's importance.

According to Giles, this beam is unique in that it was still standing after the bombing in 1993. Giles said the most recent beam, which is being checked on every day until it is placed in front of the building, weighs 13,000 pounds. Pinelands Regional High School will be getting a memorial as well, he said. 

Plans for the township's memorial include a backdrop wall, which will feature lights and feature wording honoring responders of that day.  Township officials are hoping to dedicate the memorial, which is being built mainly on volunteer labor and supplies, on Sept. 11 of this year. 

One of the people who intend to attend that dedication ceremony, Matt Lightbody, who served as a lieutenant in Barnegat Township’s fire department and lost a cousin on 9/11, said he would attend in his cousin's memory, but he said he feels the ceremony will be somewhat tarnished due to the controversy surrounding how the beams got to Barnegat.

"The controversy surrounding how they got here does put a tarnish on it," Lightbody said, "but I will still attend to honor my cousin and others memories."

Cirulli said that he hopes that the controversy will not blemish all the hard work and spirit of volunteerism that is going in construction of the memorial. "There were numerous first responders from Barnegat, so 9/11 had a particularly large impact on our community, and it is important to honor that,” Cirulli said.

Barnegat tax Payer August 16, 2012 at 01:03 PM
How much money can you make by being a full time 911 responder ? Do you get overtime for for the beam which is being checked everyday .What facts do you have proving this was the only support beam still standing after the 93 TRUCK bombing not car bombing.Im not buying it nor do i believe the tall tales being told by certain people.
Fred Rubenstein August 16, 2012 at 03:34 PM
The doubts cast upon the integrity of assertions surrounding post-9/11 events cannot be ignored. Anybody making a bogus claim of any sort should be put in the town pillory and flogged. Such conduct is a vulgar desecration of the memories of those who perished. Allegations are allegations. Some are meritorious and some are driven by stupidity, prejudice and malice. If an allegation is supported by evidence, prosecute it. If it is rooted in gossip, ignore it. Politicians who were no closer than their television sets on 9/11 best serve those who lost their lives (and their families) by butting out. Can your empty speeches when you have no idea of the horror that gripped lower Manhattan that day. More than a decade after this vicious attack on America, claims by the injured and families of the dead remain unsettled. Absolutely disgraceful. That Barnegat will maintain a memorial is good. Let it stand as a symbol of American unity. An everlasting memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. A memorial that must be free of political grandstanding and campaigning. I was not a full-time, paid 9/11 first responder. I was a regular guy who was in a certain place at a certain time. I did what had to be done. I escaped with a simple broken finger and bruised knee. I made no claim for compensation. And I would do it again if it needed to be done; so would. I am no hero. I am simply an American. Only a ghoul would try to make a windfall off 9/11.
T.j. Gilmartin August 16, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I worked on the WTC after the 93 bombing and I know for a fact there were no beams affected by the bomb , there was a big hole blown in the floor . Also I would love to have a Pick-up that can tow 2 beams ( 1 weighting 13,000 lbs 2nd beam as much ? ) Mrs. Concerned , I'll see you on 9/11 and ask you myself .
Phil Checchia August 17, 2012 at 12:10 AM
You are being too kind calling the ghoul a ghoul.
Phil Checchia August 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM
T.J. I hope to see you at the dedication.Someone else said the same thing .
Colleen Platt August 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Hello T.J. Thanks for reading all, You are correct, the article should have said the truck escorted the piece here, not towed it. That was my error and I have corrected it in the article - Thanks! - Colleen
Dave Sleeper August 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
911 wasaninsidejob
F.Lee August 17, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Will there be Tee shirts for sale?
F.Lee August 17, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Was the piece of steel cut? Were the officials at Pinelands involved in the acquisition? Who made the decision to give a piece of steel to Pinelands, what about Southern, Lacey and other schools? Is cutting the steel allowed according to the agreement with Port Authority? Where was the steel stored as an article in the Patch dated Oct. 5, 2011 describes the acquisition?
Disgusted in Barnegat August 17, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Flee do you really think that township committee would cut the steel if they do not have permission. Also think about it, if a piece is going to Pinelands don't you think they had a say in it. Just think about the big picture Flee.
Barnegat tax Payer August 17, 2012 at 04:33 AM
It was a rented truck that was used for the 93 bombing.
Matthew Lightbody Sr. August 18, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Let's all reflect and make it a day of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and worry about pumpkinhead later.... Let's honor our fallen brothers and sisters and civilians and pray for their families. It is bad enough our township name was tarnished by the red truck but as always you all will forget. We got 2 that was involved in the scam and the other can wait his day will come as we put pressure on his lies. I for one will be there in the honor of my cousin who lost his life. FF Timothy Matthew Welty squad 288 FDNY. My investigation is not personal but in the honor of him and his family who have suffered the real loss of a 9/11 hero. May God Bless him and his family for I will not give up till the pumpkinhead is carved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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