Carol Bossio, with her mother, Muriel Hemschoot below, displayed the tattoo she had inked as a tribute to her brother, Mark. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The solemn formalities the presentation of the colors, the patriotic songs, the speeches and prayer had ended. Red Bank’s volunteer firefighters, in crisp dress blues, had marched out of Riverside Gardens Park, preceded by the police department and Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch, a bagpipe band, to the sound of a single, snapping drum.
On the promontory overlooking a placid Navesink River in gray twilight, Muriel Hemschoot and her daughter, Carol Hemschoot Bossio, mingled with borough officials who’d known them all their lives, laughing and sharing thoughts about Mark Hemschoot, Muriel’s son and Carol’s brother, a borough fireman who died at the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
As signified by the large tattoo inked on Bossio’s shoulder, the “permanent tribute” she’ll take to her own grave, there remained a gulf between those who lost loved ones and those whose experience of it was more remote, Bossio said. Still, the hourlong event had a salutary effect, she and her mother agreed.