Eleven years later, the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 and those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks that day were memorialized in ceremonies in North Bergen and Guttenberg on Tuesday.
The annual North Bergen memorial service took place to remember three North Bergen High School graduates who died as well as others who lost their lives.
In addition to former students Christopher Amoroso, Robert Cirri and Sal Edward Tieri, Port Authority Officer David LaMagne was honored along with U.S. Army Sgt. Marcos Gorra who died serving in Afghanistan.
A plaque in front of North Bergen High School reads, “In memory of the North Bergen High School graduates who perished in the line of duty at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th, 2001.”
In attendance were Mayor Nicholas Sacco, Commissioners Theresa Ferraro, Allen Pascual and Hugo Cabrera, Police Chief William Galvin, Deputy Director for the North Hudson Regional Fire Mike DeOrio, Teachers’ Union President Liz Lynch, President of Administrators Union Robert Kornberg, School Administrators, students, the Fire Dept. and Police Dept.
The band played taps, which was followed by a moment of silence.
“Where the Twin Tower stood, a gleaming new tower is rising.” – Mayor Gerald Drasheff
“We’re here today to do our part to make sure that freedom does not slip away and honor those dead from our high school...all of those who failed to come home on 9/11,” said Hudson County Surrogate Donald De Leo.
Sacco said prior to the service that he knew Amoroso when he was a part of Recreation Football and coached his son when he was in the sixth grade. His character was also depicted in the movie “9/11.”
Amoroso had served as a Port Authority Officer for two years and was one of the youngest of the victims perishing at the age of 29. He was trained in special tactics and fire control which led to his role in rescue efforts on 9/11. He led numerous people that were on the lower level of the North Tower to safety. He was last seen entering that tower after having collected oxygen packs and hard hats. Amoroso grew up in North Bergen and graduated NBHS in 1990. He was survived by his wife and daughter Sophia.
Lt. Cirri was part of the NBHS graduating class of 1980, and had lived in Guttenberg, and he was also honored in their ceremony. He was in Jersey City when the first plane crashed into the Twin Towers. He immediately drove to New York to offer his help. He placed a call to his wife Eileen to tell her that couldn’t he bear watching people who needed help running out of the building. He placed a second call to his wife – his last – telling her that they were rerouting people who had been heading into a fire. He was in the lobby of the North Tower when it collapsed. Cirri was 39, and had been a Port Authority Officer for over 15 years. He is survived by his wife and their two children Robert Jr. and Jessica. He also had three stepchildren, Bianca, Francesca and Kara.
Tieri worked for Marsh and McLennan in the World Trade Center and was 40 years old. He was a graduate of the class of 1978.
Gorra was in the graduating class of 2005 and was only 22 years old when he died on Feb. 21, 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. There is a plaque that honors him inside of NBHS.
Guttenberg’s tribute began at 7:30 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony and a vigil in front of Town Hall. Those in attendance were Mayor Gerald Drasheff, The Town Council, Director of Public Safety Michael Caliguiro, Police Dept., NHRFR and neighboring emergency responders.
Two Guttenberg residents were lost on 9/11, Rebecca Lee Koborie and Lt. Cirri. In their honor the municipal bell tolled, followed by taps. A wreath was presented by Sgt. Leonardo Ramirez, Army Reserve Specialist Jerome Hannon and Judy Cirri in tribute to those who perished on 9/11.
Koborie was an executive secretary for Marsh and McLennan in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. She was 48 and lived in Guttenberg. She is survived by her mother, two brothers and a sister.
“I want to thank everyone for coming out and honoring the memory of our citizens who perished on the attacks of The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and over Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” said Drasheff. “Where the Twin Towers stood, a gleaming new tower is rising. It is fitting that we all gather to remember how we all felt when the towers fell and disappeared from the skyline and took with them many of our loved ones.”
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org