The unspeakable tragedy that unfolded on September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten, and there are a lot of ways your family can help honor the lives that were lost as we mark the 20th anniversary. Towns across NJ are planning ceremonies and events offering an opportunity for reflection, remembrance, and hope. Be sure to contact your local government to find out what is planned in your town and whether there are any COVID-19 restrictions. Scroll on for more details about ways to commemorate 9/11 in New Jersey.
Feature Photo Credit: Istock/Charles Sagad
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North Jersey 9/11 Events
Morris County Remembers 9/11
Firefighter Rebecca Asaro will provide a remarkable lesson in heroism in her keynote remarks at this remembrance ceremony on Sunday, September 12. Rebecca and three of her brothers joined the Fire Department of New York in honor of their father, an FDNY firefighter who lost his life at the World Trade Center. In addition, a color guard comprised of police officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel will proceed up to the memorial, and a special candlelight service will feature the traditional reading of the names of each person who died from Morris County. Bring lawn chairs as seating is limited.
September 12 at 6 PM
Morris County 9/11 Memorial, 460 West Hanover Avenue, Parsippany, NJ 07054
Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial Remembrance Ceremony
On Saturday, September 11, take some time to visit the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial and commemorate the many lives lost 20 years ago. Wear your masks and bring a lawn chair or blanket to this beautiful tribute. A 5K run/walk will take place on Sunday, September 12.
September 11 at 2 PM
Liberty State Park, 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Interfaith Memorial Service and Candlelight Vigil
Members of the Bayonne Interfaith Clergy will offer prayers, readings, and reflections on Saturday, September 11, at the city’s 9/11 memorial (known as the “Teardrop Memorial” because of the unique 40-foot stainless steel teardrop housed in a torn tower). Amid the backdrop of New York City, this candlelight vigil will be highlighted by veterans, police, and fire department color guards, and contemplative music from a bagpiper, trumpeter, and high school a cappella group.
September 11 at 7 PM
Harbor View 9/11 Memorial Park, 51 Port Terminal Boulevard, Bayonne, NJ 07002
Central Jersey 9/11 Events
Hunterdon County 9/11 Remembrance Event
Dr. Jean Kanokogi, a federal agent and Hunterdon County resident who responded to Ground Zero on the day of the terrorist attacks, will serve as a guest speaker and talk publicly about her experiences for the first time at the 9/11 Remembrance Event on Saturday, September 11. The ceremony will also include the ringing of the courthouse bell 16 times to represent the 16 lives lost from the county on 9/11. Local first responders who were called to duty on September 11 will also be honored at the event.
September 11 at 8:30 AM
Historic Courthouse steps, 71 Main Street, Flemington, NJ 08822
Monmouth County Remembrance Ceremony
Families are welcome to attend a ceremony on Saturday, September 11, at the 9/11 memorial at Mount Mitchill in Atlantic Highlands to honor the 147 people from the county who died on 9/11. The memorial features a timeline walkway to recollect the day’s events, a stone base carved with the names, ages, and hometowns of the county residents who lost their lives, and an eagle sculpture with a beam from one of the fallen towers. The monument will be open for extended hours until 11 PM on September 10-12.
September 11 at 8 AM
Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook, 460 Ocean Boulevard, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
Light Up The Shore
Also, in Monmouth County, residents are invited to arrive along the shoreline on Saturday, September 11, and use their cellphones at 8:46 PM to light up the skyline in honor of the heroes of 9/11. The lights symbolize the enduring American spirit and a reminder never to forget.
September 11 at 8:46 PM
South Jersey 9/11 Events
Patriot Day Ceremony
Travel to the beautiful beach town of Cape May and take part in the moving Patriot Day Ceremony on Saturday, September 11. This commemorative event includes speakers from local organizations and community leaders, the lowering of the flag to honor those who lost their lives, and a moment of silence.
September 11 at 6:15 PM
The Cove on Beach Avenue, West End, Cape May City
Step to Remember 9/11 Stair Charity Climb
If sitting still through a remembrance ceremony is difficult for your kids, this stair climb challenge in North Wildwood may be more their speed. Participants attempt to climb 110 flights of stairs, as the New York firefighters did in the World Trade Center, walking up a series of OSHA-approved scaffolding staircase towers that replicate the Twin Towers. This meaningful event is intended to honor fallen first responders while also serving as a fundraiser for families affected by the September 11 tragedy. Register here to pick a time slot to take on the challenge, or sign up to do a virtual challenge at home or the gym.
September 11 from 7 AM-5 PM, and Happy hour with live music at 6 PM
Seaport Pier, 2201 Boardwalk, North Wildwood, NJ 08260
Smithville Freedom Run
Another active way kids can commemorate 9/11 is by participating in the Smithville Freedom Run on Saturday, September 11. Depending on the age of your children, choose between running a 5K or opt for a one-mile walk or run. The event will kick off with the presentation of colors, ringing of the memorial bell, and rifle salute, and the start of the run will be signaled by the firing of an actual Civil War cannon. The Freedom Run honors the lives lost in the World Trade Center and first responders, and the military.
September 11 from 9-11 AM, registration starts at 7:30 AM
Historic Smithville, 615 E. Moss Mill Road, Galloway, NJ 08205