KEANSBURG, NJ - “After an exhaustive search, we chose Keansburg for our memorial for several reasons,” said EMSCNJ President Joseph G. Walsh, Jr. of Neptune. “It’s easily accessible and an area well served by EMS volunteers. In addition, its beautiful Raritan Bay coastline offers a view of the Manhattan skyline, which will help visitors appreciate the memorial’s significance.”
"We are honored the EMS Council of New Jersey chose Keansburg to host its 9/11 memorial,” said Mayor George Hoff. “To be able to display a piece of the World Trade Center is very humbling. It will be displayed alongside the borough’s 9/11 memorial to make sure the tragic events of this infamous day and the lives that were lost will never be forgotten."
The 5-foot-long, 338-pound portion of rusty, twisted steel measures 34 inches wide and 29 inches high, and will be displayed between replicas of the Twin Towers. The monument will be set in a cement foundation of approximately 30 square inches, on the south end of the beach, in front of the boardwalk. Its placement will be in direct sight line to where the towers stood.
"The memorial will include information about the horrific attacks, and a seating area for quiet reflection,” Walsh said. “It will be dedicated to all the EMS responders who gave their time and some, sadly, their lives to assist and protect the public.
“It will be the only monument of its kind in the USA to be dedicated exclusively to 9/11 EMS responders," Walsh added. “Although it’s a sad reminder of that horrific day, the Twin Towers steel beam also represents spirit and resilience, which are necessary attributes for EMS providers. We are immensely grateful for being entrusted with its guardianship.”
Walsh said EMSCNJ officials are working toward a September 2018 dedication of the memorial.
More than 400 ambulances responded to either Liberty State Park or the Meadowlands on Sept. 11, 2001, Walsh said. From there, many EMSCNJ member ambulances were sent to Chelsea Pier for standby. Others were paired with FDNY EMTs to respond to 911 calls in New York City.
For weeks afterward, some volunteers continued assisting efforts at Ground Zero and others helped answer 911 calls in and around New York City. During that time, volunteer EMS crews continued answering calls for help in their own New Jersey municipalities.
New Jersey’s EMS volunteers answer hundreds of thousands of calls annually throughout the state. Some have been volunteering for decades, Walsh said.