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Fort Lee Honors Emergency Responders In 9/11 Ceremony

Hanna, 4, and her mother, Fatima Naeuni.
Hanna, 4, and her mother, Fatima Naeuni. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Congressman Bill Pascrell warned of the borough’s vulnerability to future attacks -- sitting, as it does, atop the Palisades at the New Jersey end of the George Washington Bridge.
Congressman Bill Pascrell warned of the borough’s vulnerability to future attacks -- sitting, as it does, atop the Palisades at the New Jersey end of the George Washington Bridge. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

Sandi and Michael Klein greet Mayor Mark Sokolich
Sandi and Michael Klein greet Mayor Mark Sokolich Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
From left, Rubina Abbatiello, Gail Diekhaus, Arlene Hoffman and Bert Rosenbluth of the Office of Emergency Management distribute refreshments.
From left, Rubina Abbatiello, Gail Diekhaus, Arlene Hoffman and Bert Rosenbluth of the Office of Emergency Management distribute refreshments. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

FORT LEE, N.J. -- The borough saluted its first responders in a 9/11 ceremony last night, vowing to protect those who defend the well-being every day.

Congressman Bill Pascrell warned of the borough’s vulnerability to future attacks -- sitting, as it does, atop the Palisades at the New Jersey end of the George Washington Bridge -- but lauded its state-of-the-art emergency response system.

He also sought support for renewing the soon-to-expire James Zadroga Act, which provideds benefits to 9/11 workers and volunteers who have become mentally or physically ill the past 14 years.

“They are the people who run into buildings when others run out,” Pascrell. "Many of them have permanent disabilities because of that day - that horrendous act.”

Bert Rosenbluth of the Office of Emergency Management used his cell phone to light up the refreshment stand after darkness fell at the event.

“I knew people in the buildings and people on the planes,” said Rosenbluth, choking back tears.

Others attending the sunset ceremony included Mayor Mark Sokolich, council members, Bergen County Freeholder Joan Voss and County Clerk John Hogan. Rabbi Meir Berger and Rev. Richard Spenst opened and closed the remembrance with prayers.

Leila Naeuni came with her sister, Fatima Naeuni, and her 4-year-old daughter, Hannah. All three are of Iranian descent.

“She continually asks why they hijacked the planes," Leila said. "It is hard to explain, because she is so young,” Leila said.

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