By Michael Hill
Amy Vazquez’s tears fell into the Hudson River where she tossed a carnation — in memory of her mother — and where the twin towers once cast a shadow.
“She was like the spine of the whole family. She was strong. She was independent. She was responsible. She was very caring,” said Vazquez.
Aida Rosario worked in the North tower, an assistant manager at the insurance broker Marsh and McLennan, on the 94th floor, near the impact zone of American Airlines Flight 11 at about 8:45 a.m., 14 years ago.
Vazquez wanted her mother to go with her to an appointment that morning. Instead, Rosario went to work.
“I wanted her for myself that morning but she insisted on going to work because she had to provide for her family,” Vazquez said.
They remembered Rosario and others by calling their names, ringing a bell and pausing for moments of silence to honor Jersey City’s human loss — after 19 men armed with box cutters, American educations and flight training, hijacked four planes on a mission to murder, maim and terrorize.
They struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Some believe the fourth plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was destined for the U.S. Capitol where on that day Sen. Bob Menendez stood.
Today, Menendez stands in his home state, continuing his push to renew the Zadroga medical care act for first responders who risked their lives to save lives.
“The country needs to be faithful to them as well and to continue to assist them and not let that assistance die,” Menendez said.
Mayor Steven Fulop says he notices with each 9/11 anniversary the attendance gets smaller and smaller.
“We do our best to keep it in front of people and hope that people take some time to reflect today, knowing that if you don’t think about these sort of things that’s when history repeats itself,” said Fulop.
Jersey City’s permanent tribute includes the names of the city’s fallen etched in granite in front of a steel beam from the towers and the apparent pain of the constant coping, crying, and consoling.
Gloria Manderville still grieves. She taught English to her friend Waleska Martinez who worked for the government and died aboard Flight 93.
“You can’t ask for a better friend. You can’t ask for a better person, she was just it,” she said.
“She was full of love and life. She really was,” said Vazquez.
Vazquez says these ceremonies do help because they show people still care, but whoever said time heals all wounds apparently never met Vazquez.
“But, some wounds like this can never be healed, they can’t. They will be an open scar for me always. It’ll never go away, the pain still stays,” she said.