The EMS Council of New Jersey (EMSCNJ) has begun a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for its memorial honoring 9/11 EMS responders.
The monument, featuring a piece of steel beam from the World Trade Center, will be the only one in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to all the emergency medical services personnel who responded that day. More than 100 people, including local, state and Congressional representatives, as well as EMS, fire, and police personnel from around the state, took part in a Sept. 10, 2017 groundbreaking ceremony in Keansburg.
The marker will sit next to the borough’s existing 9/11 memorial on Beachway Avenue, its placement in direct line with where the World Trade Center stood across the Raritan Bay. The 5-foot-long, 338-pound portion of rusty, twisted steel measuring 34 inches wide and 29 inches high will be displayed between replicas of the Twin Towers.
The 89-year-old nonprofit New Jersey State First Aid Council, doing business as the EMSCNJ, represents 20,000 EMS volunteers affiliated with more than 260 EMS agencies throughout the state. It was among 1,132 organizations to be awarded an artifact from the Twin Towers rubble. Since taking possession of the steel beam in 2011 from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, EMSCNJ officials searched for an appropriate site for a memorial to honor the dozens of EMS responders who died Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the countless New Jersey EMS volunteers and responders from several states who pitched in to help that day and for weeks afterward.
"The memorial will include information about the terrorist attacks, and a seating area for quiet reflection,” said EMSCNJ President Joseph G. Walsh, Jr. “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 country dedicated exclusively to 9/11 EMS responders," Walsh added. “Although it’s a sad reminder of that horrific day, the steel beam also represents spirit and resilience, which are necessary attributes for EMS providers. We are immensely grateful for being entrusted with its guardianship.”
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.