It will be 11 years ago Tuesday that Ted Luckett’s abandoned car sat at the Fair Haven Police Station and his wife, Lisa, realized he wasn’t coming home from work.
And Ed McNally’s daughter, Erin, was in school at Knollwood and celebrating her birthday when she was pulled out of class and sent home to find out she wouldn’t be celebrating any more birthdays with her dad.
The stories were microcosms of the tragic tales of thousands who lost loved ones to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
And, this year, on the 11th anniversary of the attacks, Luckett, McNally, Todd Pelino and Kaleen Pezzuti will be remembered in a modest ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Fair Haven’s memorial park at the corner of Fair Haven and River roads.
“This will be a ceremony very characteristic of Fair Haven — nothing big, nothing fancy,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “We’ll gather. A few words will be said, a member of the clergy will say a prayer, a song will be sung by Maria Maita and we’ll chat with one another and the families and remember.”
One 9/11 victim Lucarelli remembers particularly because of his own personal connection is Ted Luckett.
The two met when they were freshmen in college at Ohio Weslyan University and hit it off. Both avid sailors, at 19 they ended up bonding over the sport and racing one another. After college, Luckett and Lucarelli had lost touch, until the now mayor ran into his old college sailing buddy in the Acme. It turned out that they had both settled in Fair Haven.
Lucarelli couldn’t have been happier, he said.
Now, “I miss him,” the mayor said. “Ted was unique. He was the life of the party — always smiling and making people laugh. He had a very big heart.”
There will be no formal ceremony in Rumson, Mayor John Ekdahl said, but wreaths will be laid at the memorial at Piping Rock Park.
The 9/11 victims from Rumson are: James Martello, Keith Coleman, Keith McHeffey, Michael J McCabe, W. David Bauer, Donald Walter Robertson Jr., Glen Wall, Greg Malone, Michael Tucker, Karl Smith and Stephen Canaialosi.