When authorities in New York City announced they would cancel their remembrance ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, North Arlington Mayor Daniel H. Pronti, a retired police officer, was quite upset.

Of course, New York properly decided not to cancel the ceremonies after all.

But after he first got word of the cancelation, the mayor floated the idea of having a ceremony in North Arlington. The same people who told him to have a ceremony in lieu of New York City’s also encouraged him to have the ceremony even if there would be one at the World Trade Center.

So on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, North Arlington will have its own ceremony at Zadroga Field, Schuyler Avenue, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“We have a better view, there, of Manhattan than Manhattan has of Manhattan,” the mayor said. “So we’re going to go ahead with the event to mark the 19th anniversary of the attacks. We want it to be memorable.”

The ceremony itself will be ongoing. There will be a tribute in lights — as there usually is the week of Sept. 11 in Manhattan — strategically placed to align with exactly where the Twin Towers once stood from the late 1960s until that fateful September day in 2001.

Large screens will be set up, and the names of all humans who lost their lives that day — and who thereafter died from 9/11-related illnesses — will be scrolled.

Photos and the names of all of North Arlington’s victims — including Joseph Zadroga, for whom the field is named — will be on another screen. (Zadroga, sadly, died after 2001, but is perhaps the most remembered name of all from North Arlington who lost their lives because of the attack.)

Several local artists will sing patriotic songs, though when The Observer went to print, that program was not yet finalized.

North Arlington’s first responders will be able to speak that night, as will the families of the victims, if they so desire. Pronti says Zadroga’s dad, also Joseph, has already agreed to speak. The family of the late North Arlington Mayor Joseph Bianchi has also been invited to speak.

The former mayor spent a considerable amount of time at what was once called Ground Zero, helping with what first was a rescue effort that later became a recovery operation.

Pronti says, however, that it wasn’t just the encouragement he got from so many that drove him to want to have a special remembrance in North Arlington.

“We’ve really lost the patriotism that we had after the attacks,” Pronti said. “Remember how patriotic we all were? We weren’t Republicans. We weren’t Democrats. We just all banded together and were Americans. There were flags everywhere. We could really use that kind of patriotism in our world today. So I really hope that hosting an event like this can really help to bring us back to that. It’s lacking, too much, these days.”

Anticipating a large crowd, Pronti says he’s already met with NAPD Chief Scott Hedenberg to discuss logistics. The PD will be on hand to direct traffic and to ensure all who wish to attend the event will have a place to park.

Residents from all towns are invited to attend, not just those from NA.

For additional details, or updates on the ceremony, which is subject to change, check the official borough website before Sept. 11 at www.northarlington.org.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.