Video: Remembering Osama Bin Laden’s victims in Morris County


In Morris Plains, Mayor Frank Druetzler had U.S. flags fluttering downtown on Monday.  In Morris Township, monuments at Ginty Field kept their silent and eternal vigil for six local victims.

And at the Morris County 9/11 Memorial in Parsippany, visitors marked the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden by paying respects to loved ones who killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Two visitors share their emotions in this video.

One silver-haired gentleman got too choked up for an interview. He remembered the glinting twin towers, a magnificent sight he used to admire on clear days when driving down the hill on West Hanover Avenue. And he thought of all the people who worked inside.

And then he lost it.

Another visitor, Paul Cioffi of Denville, declined a video interview. But he was pleased to talk about his late friend, Thomas Polhemus of Morris Plains.

Tom and his wife were planning his 40th birthday party on the day before he died. An avid golfer, Tom dreamed of joining the senior tour when he turned 50.

The computer systems analyst was working at an Accenture client site on the 94th floor of Tower One when the first hijacked plane struck.

paul cioffi at 9/11 memorial
Paul Cioffi remembers his friend Thomas Polhemus, a 9/11 victim, at memorial park in Parsippany on the day of Osama bin Laden's death. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“I was supposed to meet him for lunch,” said Paul, 39, who had been taking a computing course in a building on Liberty Street, not far from the World Trade Center.

After Tower One was hit, the scene “was like a ticker tape parade,” Paul recounted. Debris filled the air like confetti and everyone was confused about what had happened.

“I felt the second one. It was like an earthquake,” he said of the jetliner that hit Tower Two.

Paul had known Tom for about a decade; Tom had worked with his dad. Sometimes Paul golfed with Tom.

“He was a very kind, gentle man,” Paul said quietly. “Everybody liked him.”

And when Paul heard that U.S. forces had killed Osama Bin Laden?

“I was happy. Very happy. It was a long time coming.”

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