NJ company to replace plaques stolen from Sept. 11 memorial for free

Plaques placed along the walkway to a 9/11 memorial were stolen, causing community outrage


Jenna Wise
NJ Advance Media Group

MONMOUTH COUNTY, N.J. — A New Jersey company is making new plaques, free of charge, to replace the three bronze markers stolen from the Monmouth County 9/11 Memorial two weeks ago.

Three out of four bronze plaques providing a timeline of the terrorist attacks were taken from Mount Mitchell Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands at the end of September. The markers were bolted and glued to stones along a walkway leading to a statue of an eagle clutching a beam from one of the Twin Towers.

A N.J. company is replacing three plaques recounting the timeline of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that were stolen last week. (Photo/Natalie Paterson/NJ Advance Media)
A N.J. company is replacing three plaques recounting the timeline of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that were stolen last week. (Photo/Natalie Paterson/NJ Advance Media)

The walkway is a main component of the memorial, and news of the plaques’ disappearance prompted outrage in the community.

Ellen Coffey, a spokeswoman for Freehold-based W & E Baum, said the Monmouth County Parks System recently accepted the company’s offer to replace the plaques for free.

W & E Baum custom-makes memorials such as signs, plaques and awards, according to its website.

“When need arises, W & E Baum tries to chip in the best way that we can to try to offer as much help as possible. This is just something that we’ve always done," Coffey said, noting the company was based in New York at the time the towers fell.

Coffey told NJ Advance Media it could take 6 to 10 weeks to make the new markers. She estimated the replacement cost as about $360 for each plaque.

“The Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners was very pleased that W & E Baum came forward with their offer to replace the plaques at no charge,” said Andrew Spears, assistant director of the Monmouth County Parks System. “It is a very generous gesture and it is representative of the outpouring of goodwill and support from area residents that the county received in the wake of the theft.”

Spears said the Friends of the Parks has a fund dedicated to upkeep of the Monmouth County 9/11 Memorial, to which community members can donate at any time. He said the county received a number of calls and emails from people offering their support after the plaques were stolen.

Monmouth County is working with Atlantic Highlands police to make security improvements to the area around the memorial, Spears said. Park rangers also monitor the property year-round.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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