Annual walk to be filled with special memories

Annual walk to be filled
with special memories

The third annual Walk With Joe will be all the more poignant as it is being held three years to the day that the most destructive act of terrorism ever perpetrated on American soil occurred.

The 5-kilometer walk will take place at Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Route 33, Manalapan.

Walk With Joe was created by and is directed each year under the auspices of the Yorktowne Club, a benevolent organization in Manalapan of which Patrick Joseph "Joe" Driscoll was a founding member. The event has become an annual commemoration of the life and death of Driscoll, who lived in Manalapan for 33 years and, with his wife, raised four children in the community.

Driscoll, 70, was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists commandeered the aircraft. U.S. government officials have said the plane was headed for a target in Washington, D.C., when passengers staged a revolt and forced the hijackers to crash the aircraft in a Pennsylvania field. Everyone aboard the plane was killed, but no one on the ground was injured.

It was the same morning that two other hijacked planes struck and destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and another hijacked plane struck and heavily damaged the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C.

More than 3,000 people died in the attack perpetrated by the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

One of the most remarkable things about the Walk With Joe is the committed participation of not only his peers who were close friends, but the many young adults who continue to participate in promoting the continuation of the event. It is a testament to the esteem in which Driscoll is held by those who work hard to honor his legacy.

There are people like Christine McCarty, 35, who is one of the event’s organizers and participants.

McCarty knew Driscoll her entire life. She said he was always doing something to make his part of the world a better place through coaching, teaching Catholic instruction at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Englishtown and other volunteer activities and mentoring.

"I’m involved in this event because it is important. It is something that should never be forgotten, what he gave to the community as well as what he ultimately gave to the country," McCarty said.

The Walk With Joe will start with registration at the park at 8 a.m. Sept. 11. The entry fee for the walk is $10. Opening ceremonies will follow registration and the walk will begin at 10 a.m.

The beneficiaries of this year’s Walk With Joe include the Samaritan Center, Englishtown; the Monmouth County 9/11 Memorial; the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.; and the Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center, Freehold Township.

— Kathy Baratta