Drawing Strength From Each Other
Drawing Strength From Each Other Drawing strength from each other
Posted by the Ocean County Observer on 09/12/06
BY CHRIS LUNDY
BRICK — The crowd of people circling the "Angel in Anguish" statue for a Sept. 11 remembrance service was solemn, but they drew strength from each other.
As clouds crowded out the sun, and the wind of Windward Beach blew flags toward the river, people lit candles as part of the ceremony. Shielding the flame from the wind, strangers held candles steady for their neighbor to light theirs, passing the light around the circle.
It is people, friends and neighbors, and even strangers, that help the survivors carry on.
"It gets easier for me because of friends," said Jennifer Sands of Brick, who lost her husband James that day.
Brick lost eight residents, including John Badagliacca, Brett Bailey, Robert P. DeVitt, Michael Diehl, John Perconti, Thomas Sgroi and Christopher M. Traina.
Family and friends of these people were at the ceremony.
"There is certainly support," Sands said. "We've all been through this horrible tragedy."
She credits God for putting her support system in place and guiding people to her that she needed.
"Grief is as individual as fingerprints," she said. "We gain a lot of strength from each other."
JoAnn DiBella said she drew inspiration from Sands. She had lost a close friend, LT. CHARLES MARGIOTTA. He was coming off a double shift with the New York Fire Department when the call came out over the radio. He turned around and called his mother to tell her where he was going.
"He was never seen or heard from again," she said.
DiBella lived in Staten Island at the time, but now lives in Brick. Driving though the old neighborhood, all the street signs have changed. The names of the streets are clear, but beneath that, there is a special sign from when the street was renamed for the person who lived there that died on Sept. 11.
Breaking up when talking about MARGIOTTA, she said she still thinks of him every day.
When she travels, she said she meets locals, even residents of other countries, who want to talk to her about Sept. 11. As soon as she says she was from New York, they want to know more.
John Zigo didn't know anyone who died in Sept. 11 directly. He came to show his support for friends.
One neighbor lost a family member. Jennifer Sands is his pharmacist, who he said saved his life when there was a problem with a prescription.
Having worked in the first tower until his retirement in 1983, Zigo felt some kinship toward the workers who lost their lives that day.
"It's something we can't forget," he said. "We have to respect each anniversary."
The ceremony itself was a collection of songs, prayers and speeches honoring those who lost their lives.
Mayor Joseph Scarpelli noted that Sept. 11 has become like the death of John F. Kennedy. People will always remember what they were doing when they heard the news.
Prayers were given for the police and firefighters. During one segment paying tribute to emergency responders being ever-ready, two Brick Township EMS workers left the ceremony to respond to a call.