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Richard Cudina Memorial (Glen Gardner)
Dedicated to: Richard Cudina
Type of Memorial: Community Garden
Location: Wooded section of the Lebanon Township Memorial Park
Address: 530 West Hill Rd.
City: Glen Gardner
State: New Jersey
Country: United States
Open to Public: Yes
"To remember all victims of 9/11, 9/11 itself, and my husband. It's important to have places to go to remember," said Georgia Cudina. Parks commission member Patricia Schriver added, "it's a learning center" in that the area was set aside to be a quiet area that can now be used by area schools to reflect on and learn from the day.
Reason site was selected:
The Richard Cudina Memorial is located on a wooded section of the Lebanon Township Memorial Park, which was entirely created through the efforts of the community. Each portion of this park including the picnic pavilion, children's play area, ball field, and basketball court was created in memory of someone from the community who was tragically lost. Moreover, this is a large township of 32 square miles that lacks a town square. Since this site is adjacent to the Municipal Building, the volunteer firefighter and police buildings, the general store, and the school, the area really is the heart of the community that "brings people together like a square in Europe," said Mayor Eileen Swan. In terms of the specific site, Georgia was moved by the wooded area since she finds the canopy comforting and peaceful. The park plan had dedicated the area a "quiet zone" and it seemed the most appropriate place to put a memorial. The committee also noted the important aesthetic difference between the living trees and the starkness of the World Trade Center steel monument.
Events planned for site:
Since the park is such a community gathering space, there will be ongoing organized and spontaneous activities at the park. They also intend to hold both a September 11 dedication as well as annual remembrances. Finally, there will be a permanent interaction between both the adjacent school and other area schools in using the site as a learning and remembrance space.
Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?:
Georgia said, "the word sacred is a very personal thing, but to me a forest is a sacred space. You choose to be alone and commune with whatever you need to think about." Mayor Eileen Swan added that the parks itself has special meaning beyond a normal park. While the 9/11 memorial site is currently sacred to the committee, "it will spread to the community through their involvement."
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