Brick Woman Promoting Patriotism As 9/11 Anniversary Approaches
Larraine Sgroi's ex-husband died in the attack on America
Laraine Sgroi will be speing the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in Brick. That's just where she was when they occured, claiming the life of her ex-husband, Thomas, who worked on the 95th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when it was hit.
"We avoid the city altogether," she said, when asked if she would be attending the memorial event in New York City scheduled for the anniversary next month. "I don't put the TV on. I don't watch the ceremony, because for us it's not just that day. It's every day."
But Sgroi still wants her hometown to remember what happened. This spring, she contacted Mayor Stephen Acropolis and other township officials and began organizing an effort to make flags available for any township resident who wanted one.
"Nobody's putting flags out anymore," Sgroi said, as she recalled the months after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, when people across the country flew the stars and stripes from their homes, vehicles and boats. "I started e-mailing some local flag companies, and was turned down. They said their money was allocated for the year, and they couldn't donate."
But the mayor responded, and helped connect Sgroi with township official who could help. Now, Brick's recreation department is working with the Chambers of Commerce to make American flags available for residents who need one.
Recreation Director Dave Francese told Brick Patch that flags are already available at the recreation office on Chambers Bridge Road, and a number of local businesses have signed on to donate money to make flags available at their stores. The township will be announcing a full list of businesses that donated soon.
"We want everybody in Brick, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, to fly a flag," Francese said.
For Sgroi, showing an outward sign of patriotism on the anniversary of the attacks is an honor to the victims, as well as a way to bring township residents together.
"We do plan on attending the ceremony at Windward Beach this year," she said. "The town's been so good, and in a way, I feel we kind of owe it to them to be there. And in a way, we do have a responsibility to go."
The township will hold its 9/11 remembrance on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. at Windward Beach, near the Angel in Anguish memorial sculpture.