Burlington County will mark the 20th Anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks with a Remembrance Ceremony featuring keynote addresses from two of New Jersey’s most outstanding first responders and leaders.
The Burlington County Commissioners announced the details of the upcoming ceremony and called on all Burlington County residents to take time on the anniversary to remember and honor those who were lost, as well as the families and loved ones left behind.
“Our nation was forever changed 20 years ago and we must continue to keep our promise to never forget the innocent lives that were lost and the incredible heroism demonstrated by so many,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “We’re also asking our residents to keep the families and loved ones of those who were killed in our thoughts and prayers. For them the anniversary can be particularly painful.”
The ceremony will be held at 11 AM outside the Burlington County Emergency Services Training Center in Westampton, where a piece of steel recovered from the fallen World Trade Center is displayed. It will feature a bagpipe processional, wreath laying and the reading of the names and biographies of seven victims who resided in the county or had strong ties here.
The ceremony will be open to the public. However, seating will be limited.
Virtua Health Emergency Management Coordinator Phyllis Worrell and New Jersey State Police Major Frederick Fife were selected to deliver keynote addresses at the event.
Worrell, who also serves as the Healthcare Coordinator for the Burlington County Office of Emergency Management, directed operations at the Burlington County Vaccine Mega-Site, where more than 390,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered to residents from across the region.
Worrell was also among the volunteers who responded to Ground Zero in Manhattan immediately following the 9/11 attacks to assist with search and rescue operations there.
Fife, who is also a former FBI agent, is currently serving on the New Jersey State Police Command Staff as Deputy Branch Commander of the Investigations. In that role, he is leads statewide intelligence operations, investigations, forensics and New Jersey’s fusion center, where information from multiple agencies is analyzed and shared.
During his career in law enforcement, Fife has traveled to dozens of counties and was lead agent on a major FBI counter terrorism operation. He also spent eight years on the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Philadelphia and was also commanding officer of multiple special State Police crime reduction deployments to underserved cities.
He was awarded the New Jersey State Police Trooper of the Year honor in 2010.
In addition to Worrell and Fife, Commissioner Director Hopson and Deputy Director Dan O’Connell will participate in the County service, along with other state, county and local leaders and representatives from various police, fire and EMS agencies.
The service was organized by the Burlington County Commissioners and County Department of Public Safety, as well as the Burlington County Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs and EMS Chiefs.
The ceremony will be the second the Commissioners have hosted on the 9/11 anniversary. The first was held last year after the Commissioners learned many local services were being cancelled due to the pandemic.
“Last year, we created this ceremony to ensure the anniversary did not become a casualty of the pandemic, and we are proud to hold a service again this year in honor of the 20th anniversary,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Dan O’Connell. “We hope to use the occasion to remember those we lost and to honor all those in our country who responded to rescue and recovery efforts.”