Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reflecting on a Beth Mason political operative's 9-11 disrespect

Last year the 10 year anniversary brought out a big crowd with politicians lined up to speak to the large collected audience at Pier A for the occasion.  The most noteworthy official in attendance at the remembrance was then NJ Attorney General Paula Dow, the highest ranking law enforcement official in the state.

Police manned the entrance to Pier A Park and we saw one of our favorite officers in full uniform looking sharp and crisp and we chatted briefly.  Upon entering the park, we crossed the narrow path and one Matt Calicchio, the Mason Civic League employee.

2011 9-11's featured guest speaker at the ten year anniversary NJ Attorney General Paula Dow.
Behind her Beth Mason political operative and Mason Civic League employee Matt Calicchio

As we passed a brief exchange took place.  We asked him why he was walking in the wrong direction, away from the ceremony?   He paused for a second until hearing there was someone we wanted him to meet: Paula Dow.  Calicchio's response was to walk away yelling curses loud enough to attract the attention of almost a dozen people standing near Hoboken's temporary 9-11 monument.

Later as the crowd would build, MSV took a number of pictures posting a photo essay of the event. Toward the end of the most solemn part of the ceremony, as a family member of one of the day's victims read the names of Hoboken's lives lost, out of the blue came the words from behind, "It should have been you killed in those buildings."

We turned around to see the messenger of those words, Mason employee Matt Calicchio walking back into the crowd. He wasn't awaiting a reaction nor any reply.  The crowd stood in respectful attention as the names continued to be read.

The ceremony would end shortly thereafter and in the front of the seating area, a number of elected officials would greet each other but two notably avoided the former Essex County prosecutor, a Democrat and NJ Attorney General:  Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti.

Neither would extend a greeting of even saying hello, both keeping a healthy distance.

Related: MSV's 9-11 stories from 2011:

9-11 10 years later: Time passes but the loss is present
http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2011/09/each-year-this-day-brings-one-further.html

9-11 years out, a photo essay:
http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2011/09/9-11-10-years-removed-photo-essay.html