September 11th 20 years later: Essex County 9/11 Memorial hosts 20th annual remembrance

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A site in New Jersey overlooking the New York City skyline which became somewhat of a gathering place to watch the horror of September 11, 2001 unfold, marked 20 years since the terrorist attacks Saturday.

Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange hosted Essex County's 20th annual September 11th Remembrance Ceremony.

Nearly a quarter of the victims of the September 11 attacks lived in New Jersey.

So many just knew 20 years ago that the best they could do in that sad and crushing moment, with the city under attack, was to gather at this high point, with views of nearly the entire skyline, to offer quiet prayer and comfort.

"A little fact, which will never make pages of history books is the fact that the unsung heroes, the first responders, were those pilots and those flight attendants," United Airlines flight attendant Deborah Calimano said.

"No one knows the heartache that hides behind our smiles. No one knows how many times we've broken down and cried," Susan Rossinow, whose husband was killed in the attacks, said.

The Essex County 9/11 Memorial in Eagle Rock honors all of the victims and heroes and this year photos were shown of the 57 Essex County loved ones who were killed that day.

Family members and elected leaders said in their own ways, how we should never forget.

(***sot sheila oliver/nj lt. Governor..

"I think that our nation has an obligation to honor the victims of 9/11 as war heroes," New Jersey Lieutenant Gov. Shelia Oliver said.

(***sot armando fontoura/essex county sheriff.. I remember the unity that we experienced after that was unprecedented. I have never seen anything like it in my career and in my lifetime. Somehow we've lost that," Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.

This high point at Eagle Rock, while blood was not shed here millions of tears have been.

"I heard 40% of the people haven't been identified that actually died. So people actually come out here, this is the only place they have. They don't have a cemetery to go to. They come here and remember," Essex County Executive Joe Divincenzo said.

CLICK HERE for more Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11

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