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Windward Beach Park, Princeton Ave
Angel in Anguish sculpted by Brian P. Hanlon dedicated September 2002. In memory of the 7 people from Brick who died on 9/11 - Brett T. Bailey, Jim Sands Jr., Robert P. Devitt Jr., Christopher M. Traina, John G. Badagliacoa, Michael Diehl & John Perconti. I visited there on 9/11/08, that's why there are flowers in the picture. It stands around 7 feet high and has an angel on it's knees leaning on a memorial stone crying. The stone has the WTC on it. It is near the beach at the end of the park. The area starts with a memorial to the Space Shuttle Challenger, then the 9/11 statue and behind it is a Space Shuttle Columbia memorial. It's very well done with the names carved around the bottom which are a little hard to read since they are the same material. It's nicely done and well worth checking out.
Ocean Boulevard, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
On September 11, 2005 Monmouth County, NJ built a
dedicated to all the residents who died in the county on 9/11. Two years later I
went to see it since I always want to do something to honor those on that day. I had
previously gone to Ground Zero, seen the Twin Towers of Light and visited
Shanksville, PA. So on 9/11/07 I went to Mount Mitchill having read about the
memorial. It's far from the main roads like the Garden State Parkway, over 12
miles from exit 117, so it's quite a trip through many small towns along Hwy
36. The whole area is somewhat small,
much smaller than you would think looking at the pictures. The area is in a half moon
shape so when you park it's on a curved pattern and the memorial is a little
higher up so you can't see it right away. You have to walk up a few stairs and
then it is in the center with a flag to the left. Before you can get to it there is walkway timeline leading to it.
First there is a plaque that explains what it means. Then as you walk to the memorial
in the center there are bricks with times of specific events starting at 7:30am
and on the right is a plaque explaining what each time means. At the end is
10:29am when the last WTC tower collapses. The eagle is all white and sits on a
large six sided black stone pedestal that has the names of each town and the
corresponding victims underneath. In the back in it's talons is a small beam
from the WTC itself. There is a large open area you can walk around it in a
circle with a small stone wall on the edges. If you walk past toward the water
there are two stations on either side with information signs on what you can see
in the distance. You can pay to look into the view finders that will magnify
what you see. That day the park was open extended hours from 8am to 12pm. I
arrived before dark in case it was busy and to be able to get pictures. It was
surprisingly empty, thought there were flowers left at the base of the eagle
from the ceremony that occurred earlier that day. The problem was it had rained
and was overcast, so being able to see the twin towers of light wasn't possible.
I decided to go down the road to see the Leonardo memorial before the light ran
out and then returned to see if it cleared up. At this time the place was packed
with people hoping to be able to see the NYC skyline, but it didn't happen.
Suddenly there was cones and park rangers with lights guiding traffic. The area
itself it usually closed at night, so there was no lights anywhere, not even on
the memorial, which there should've been, so it was very dark.
While it was disappointing to miss the lights, I was really there for the memorial. Though it is somewhat small, it is extremely well made and it's a nice added feature to make you walk a timeline of 9/11 before you get there. It's an interesting way to put your mind in the moment. The sculpture of an eagle in flight with it's wings spread carrying a beam is fantastic. It would've looked more impressive if it was up in the air a little on a thick pole, but maybe safety concerns keep it fixed to the large base. The beam in the back is within reach and there was no sign reading not to touch it so I did. It's weird to think of where it came from. I wish it was never there and 9/11 didn't happen, but it's special to be able to touch something that was actually a part of the attack.
When you look down to the water it doesn't seem like you are so high up until you see big boats come in and they look so small. There are signs that list it as the highest natural point at 266 feet on the entire US coastline from Maine all the way to the Yucatan which is just extraordinary. It's hard to believe, but it makes it even more poignant to think that the Trade Center stood at over 1000 feet, 4 1/2 times higher. It then makes sense why the area became a popular place to visit on 9/11 and after to see the smoke from a safe vantage point. I just wish the weather cooperated, but since it didn't I'll have to try again another year.
On the opposite side is a playground so it would be a great place to take kids to explain what happened and still allow them to have fun right nearby so they wouldn't be totally bummed out. I would recommend it to anyone, any day of the year as it would be one of the top 9/11 memorials there is. It might even be the best one right now until the major ones are completed at the 9/11 sites.
Eagle holding the beam close up
Stone with names of all the victims from Middletown
World Trade Center Stone close up
If you are going to Mt. Mitchill, then do
yourself a favor and stop by the Marina. If you are coming from the Garden State
Parkway, it's along the same road a couple miles before you reach The Highlands.
I had just read about a ceremonial stone placing there, but didn't see a picture
and had no idea what to expect there. Just take the road all the way to the end,
as it's only a few feet from the water. There are no signs or any indications
how to get to the memorial itself and you would never know it was there if you
had just gone to launch a boat or fish on the other side. It's at the end of an
area to park cars, so there is no park or anything around it, just beach behind
and asphalt in front, so it really stands out in the little area it is located.
It wouldn't take anyone more than a couple minutes to see it all if you wanted
to check it out and I recommend you do.
In a way it's more touching than Mt. Mitchill, as it started as a tribute to Father Mychal F. Judge, the FDNY chaplain who was killed on 9/11. There is a stone for him with an image carved it it that is like a headstone. Since then they have expanded it each year adding two big black monolith type stones, one with the World Trade Center and Stature of Liberty and a Middletown Elks Lodge #2179 stone honoring all the Middletown, NJ residents killed on 9/11/01. Behind them are flags and helmets with personal inscriptions, flagpoles on either side, flowers, wreathes and white small stones on the ground in a grave shape. It reminds me of the Shanskville Memorial as it is very accessible and people can leave what they like there like flowers and such. The only problem is the ever present seafood coop stench that permeates the area, but the sounds of the sea make it unlike the other memorials I've seen as all those are a distance from the water. The details on the WTC stone are absolutely phenomenal, it's picture perfect and must've been a real labor of love. I hope they keep adding and building it up and if they do I will keep going back.
This is around 7 feet high and is incredibly well done white etched art on black marble.
Marker Stone close up
Marker Stone text
Coming from Rt 37 and going down Hooper Ave
is the large area for all the government buildings on both sides of the road.
After you pass under the the walkway there's an open area on the left and
buildings on either side with the parking garage behind it. Near the steps of
the building on the left is a large stone, but unless you happen to be walking
there, you would never know it existed. There is no indication anywhere around
that there is a 9/11 memorial dedicated to those from Ocean County who died in
the attacks. On the left of the stone is a mother, father and a two kids - a boy
and girl holding American flags. On the right is the words, "America was
targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and
opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining."
President George W. Bush September 11, 2001. Behind that is the World Trade
Center and the top of the stone is cut like a waving flag. On the base is
"In Memory of September 11, 2001 for all those lives lost. For all those
lives touched. Our lives - forever touched." Underneath is a time line of
the four flights (11, 175, 77, 93) when and where they crashed. Under that is
"3,047 people lost their lives 19 were residents of Ocean County."
The first time I saw it there was nothing around it, but now 2 small American flags were added. The main problem I have is that there is no signs or anyway of knowing about it. I found it completely by accident. The other problem was the base was covered in dirt like it hadn't been cleaned in a while and I had to clean it up to get a nice picture.
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