Morris County to Hold 20th Anniversary 9/11 Remembrance Sunday Night
Published on September 10, 2021
Keynote Speaker Rebecca Asaro and Three Brothers Joined the FDNY After Father Died on 9/11
Everyone is invited to join Morris County’s first responders and the Morris County Board of County Commissioners this Sunday night, Sept. 12, 2021, at 6 p.m., to observe the 20th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a special ceremony at the Morris County 9/11 Memorial on West Hanover Avenue in Parsippany-Troy Hills. The event also will be livestreamed on our Facebook page.
Special musical numbers will be included, as keynote remarks are provided by Firefighter Rebecca Asaro, who joined the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) along with three of her brothers in honor of their father, Carl Francis Asaro.
He was among the 15 FDNY firefighters with Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 from the Midtown Manhattan firehouse who did not return that morning after fearlessly responding to the devastation at the Twin Towers. It was the hardest hit firehouse on Sept. 11, 2001, when 343 FDNY members died in the line of duty.
Carl Asaro died just a month shy of his 38th birthday.
Rebecca was only 9 years old when she, five siblings and her mother, Heloiza, lost their father and husband.
“I joined because my father was a firefighter who died in 9/11. Four of us followed in his footsteps, with my younger brother and me graduating the academy in 2019,” Rebecca explained, noting she has uncles and close family friends who also are firefighters.
Carl, Jr., now 33 years old, was the first to join, followed by brother Matthew, age 32. Rebecca, 29, and younger brother Marc, 27, were featured in several news features when they graduated the academy two years ago.
Rebecca is now a member of her father’s old unit.
FDNY veteran John Fila, a Boonton native and also a member of the Midtown firehouse, will join Rebecca in the Morris County ceremony. Fila had switched shifts that fateful day, or he too would have been among those killed. He has joined the Morris County ceremony in the past, sharing his experience and losses, including his good friend, Carl F. Asaro.
Fila will introduce Rebecca, who he has known since she was a child.
“John knew my family, my dad. He is a longtime family friend. It’s an honor working with him,” said Rebecca.
Morris County lost 64 residents in the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001, and annually conducts a remembrance ceremony.
“Morris County is proud to annually commemorate the events of September 11th, 2001 even during a global pandemic. As this year marks the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, we are honored to be joined by Rebecca Asaro and to have John Fila return to stand with all of us at our memorial to once again say a prayer and echo our nation’s vow two decades later to never forget,” said Commissioner Director Stephen H. Shaw.
The Morris County 9/11 Memorial on West Hanover Avenue in Parsippany-Troy Hills was constructed to pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks, with an emphasis on the 64 Morris County residents lost that day. The names of all who died are engraved in ruby-colored paving stones set in the walkway surrounding the memorial, and the names of each of the 64 Morris County residents killed are additionally listed on individual, brass plates affixed atop of the memorial’s inner wall.
The county’s 9/11 event will include musical interludes, a chorus, and the march of a color guard up West Hanover Avenue to the Memorial that will include police, fire, rescue and emergency personnel from across Morris County. A special invocation will accompany a lighting of candles and the traditional reading of the names of each person from Morris County who died.
Seating at the Memorial is limited, so the public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the outdoor observance. Parking will be available at the Morris County Department of Human Services building at 340 West Hanover Ave., on the Morris Township side of the street. Shuttle buses will be available to transport those in need the short distance to the Memorial.
Top Right: Carl Jr., Rebecca, Matthew and Marc Asaro. They all joined the FDNY in honor of their father, Carl F. Asaro.
Center Left: FDNY Firefighter Carl F. Asaro, killed with 14 colleagues as they responded to the Twin Towers collapse on Sept. 11, 2001.
Bottom Right: Past 9/11 Ceremony in Morris County