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I would like to take the time to reflect upon and recognize the 18th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks our nation endured on September 11th, 2001. Though the years have passed, we will never forget the lives and legacies of those who lost their lives or the first responders who bravely did their jobs.

It is our duty to always remember the horrific events that took place on that day, as well as, to never forget those we lost and how that day changed our lives forever.  However, in order to never forget, our youth must be taught about 9/11 and the events that transpired that day and how it changed the course of American history forever.

The current generation of high school students were almost all born after this defining moment, so while the attacks may seem like yesterday to those old enough to remember, to most of our students, it’s part of history. In order to teach them, we must first talk about the events that took place that day and how the repercussions are still felt today.

In honor of the promise to never forget, I spent Last Wednesday, September 11th throughout the County at memorial services to remember, commemorate, and reflect on the lives of our fellow Americans, especially the 147 Monmouth County residents who tragically lost their lives that day.

In the morning, Monmouth County held a ceremony at the Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands.  Afterwards, I attended the Middletown and Neptune City Memorial Services. I want to acknowledge our staff, as well as, Middletown and Neptune City for their outstanding work in organizing these beautiful services.

Additionally, I participated in the Travis Manion Foundation’s 9/11 Heroes 5K in Wall Township this weekend with Sheriff Shaun Golden. It was an honor to run in this 5K which unites communities in recognizing the sacrifices of those heroes from September 11th and the wars since, to include veterans, active duty, first responder, and families of the fallen.

On a separate note, I would also like to talk about a cause that is very special to me – raising funds for pancreatic cancer research.

As you may know, I’m have been part of the committee for the annual Pound the Pavement for Purple 5k and 2-mile run in Neptune for the last five  years. The race is held in cooperation with the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Neptune Township. I am excited to announce our sixth annual race will return on Saturday, October 12th and will be starting and ending at The Headliner in Neptune. As it is every year, the race beneficiary will be the Lustgarten Foundation.

I encourage everyone to come out and join us by either running or walking that morning and showing support for those who have been affected by pancreatic cancer. For those interested in participating in the run/walk, please sign up online by visiting http://www.eliteracingsystems.com/wp2014/pancreatic-cancer-benefit-5k-registration/ 

As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director.

Sincerely,

Tom Arnone

Freeholder Director, Monmouth County