WEST ORANGE, N.J. (PIX11) — Twenty-two years later, the healing continues for Elisa Charters.
The Short Hills resident worked for the Port Authority just out of college on September 11th, 2001, escaping the 21st floor of the World Trade Center North Tower.
“I lost 84 co-workers,” said Charters. “I lost my first boss, I lost some of my beloved co-workers, people who were mentors to me.”
Each soul lost in the senseless attacks is remembered at the Essex County 9/11 memorial service, where heroes, flight crews, victims, and recovery K-9s are all honored in a vast memorial atop Eagle Rock Reservation.
“What we tried to do is make sure that everybody was represented,” said Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. “The police, the fire, our county residents.”
Of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that day, 58 were from Essex County. Their names are forever engraved in a bronze book underneath the 8-foot span on an eagle.
“Every year that I come here, I heal,” said Charters.
As time marches on, Charters doesn’t want anyone to forget the fact that others wanted to take our freedom, but they failed.
“We have to remember that we have to stand together,” said Charters, “we the United States of America, we the people of the United States of America, and to defend freedom with everything we have.”