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9/11 tribute officially off the mark

Thu., Sept. 15, 2011

Apologetic officials in a small New Jersey town rushed Wednesday to remove a stone marker commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks amid an uproar about what the monument didn’t include – any reference to what happened, or the victims – and what it did – the names of the mayor and other local officials.

Samir Elbassiouny, mayor of Washington Township, a 6,600-resident community in northwest New Jersey’s Warren County, said he did not mean to put up a marker that looked as if it was about officials, not the victims.

“It’s truly a misunderstanding,” he said. “The intent is to honor the victims of 9/11.”

The stone, which looks like a small headstone, was installed last week.

It read: “Dedicated September 11, 2011. 10 Year Anniversary.” That’s followed by the six names of the mayor, committee members and township administrator.

It didn’t sit well with some who saw it, including Dennis Ryan, a retired Washington Township police officer.

“I mean, how freaking narcissistic can you be?” Ryan said.


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