By Tom Nobile The Gazette (Hawthorne Edition)
On the 12th anniversary of 9/11, the borough at long last unveiled its own memorial of the tragedy, located outside of borough hall on Belmont Avenue.
The memorial features two small brick structures meant to resemble the World Trade Center towers, connected by a steel beam recovered from Ground Zero. Beneath it lays a plaque reading “Dedicated to Honor and Remember Those Who Lost Their Lives on September 11, 2001.”
The town council introduced the monument in a small ceremony on September 11, where police, fire, emergency services and a handful of residents attended.
Mayor Dominick Stampone said talks of erecting a monument began long ago but funding proved a problem.
The idea resurfaced in August 2011 when the borough managed to acquire authentic Ground Zero steel from the New York Port Authority. Two years ago the Port Authority opened up to allow any municipality that wanted a 9/11 artifact to obtain one at no cost.
Borough police arranged an escort for the truck carrying the steel, greeted by car honks and applause from residents, with the truck donning a sign that read “9/11 piece of World Trade Center steel.”
As a cost-saving measure the borough enlisted the help of the Haledon Department of Public Works (DPW) employees to offer different designs and concepts for the piece. Resident and DPW worker Rocco Feldhan, who is a mason by trade, was tapped for its creation. Working part-time Feldhan completed the project in about three weeks.
Stampone estimates the monument, quaint and intimate, cost around $3,000.
“It was really done on a shoestring, which in my opinion makes it all the more impressive,” Stampone said.
No borough residents perished during the 9/11 attacks.