Commemorative plates hang in Howell library

The New York Times


Staff Writer

HOWELL — A dignified ceremony was held at the township library last week to accept a gift to the community from The New York Times. The printing plates used to print the Times’ one-year anniversary issue commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were donated to the library due to the efforts of the Howell Optimist Club, which arranged for the gift.

John Alliano, a Howell resident who is a past president of the Optimist Club, said Howell is one of only a few towns in New Jersey to receive the printing plates.

The plates will hang on the wall of the library, along with a plaque that honors five Howell residents who were among the more than 700 New Jersey residents who died when terrorists attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City. Those residents are John Lennon, Colin McArthur, John Rhodes, Joseph Sacerdote and Alan Wisniewski.

Twelve-year-old Jenelle Shimko’s powerful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Ban-ner” set the tone for the event.

Mayor Timothy J. Konopka was joined by the members of the Township Council, all remarking on how the worst that people can do also inspired others to be the best they can be.

“Never in our wildest imaginings could we imagine someone could do something so awful,” said Konopka, who noted America’s resolve and determination in the aftermath of the attack as evidence of the country’s strength.

Councilman Juan Malave’s emotional remarks seemed to say it all.

“Three years ago our country took a blow that many feared would cripple us,” Malave said.

But he noted that the attackers’ hatred was no match for America’s faith, patriotism and belief in its ideals. Instead of weakening Americans, Malave said the attack strengthened citizens in the spirit of Martin Luther King’s “dream” for America.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Malave said, “There were no white men, no black men, brown men or yellow men. We were just simply Americans. From nightmares, dreams can be born.”

Malave said that since that day when so many emergency responders “died running into buildings others were running out of,” when he meets a firefighter, a police officer or an emergency medical technician, “I thank them for keeping me and my family safe.”

Also present at the ceremony were Police Chief Ronald T. Carter and Capt. Robert Scott, and Ramtown Fire Commis-sioner Robert Kelly, who was joined by several firefighters.

“The plates represent more than just a roll call of the victims, they represent both their individual humanity as well as that of our extended American family,” Kelly said.