BRIGANTINE — Members of the community bonded Tuesday during a somber ceremony that paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The ceremony took place in the driveway of the Brigantine Fire Department.

The Rev. John Scotland of Community Presbyterian Church led the group in prayer and a moment of silence. He reminded the group that in addition to the 2,977 victims who died that day in the attacks, nearly 2,000 others have died due to injuries related to the attacks, and more than 40,000 survivors still deal with physical and mental illnesses from responding to those tragedies.

Mayor Phil Guenther gave the closing speech, saying, “We honor the memory of ordinary Americans whose lives ended in an instant as they started their workday at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or traveled on Flight 93. And we honor those courageous and selfless first responders who entered burning and collapsing buildings. … As President Bush said, 'One of the worst days in American history also revealed the bravest acts in American history.'

“Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives that day with almost 700 coming from New Jersey. We remember today those who had ties to Brigantine: Adam Larson, Patricia Cody and Brian Monaghan.

“Liberty, equality, justice, self government — these are the values and principles that we hold dear, and certainly have the responsibility to uphold in the future,” said the mayor. “The terrorists of 9/11 intended to break our spirit. Instead, we emerged stronger and more unified as a nation.”