Volunteers work to beautify the area around the 9/11 memorial beam at Montclair High School. The beam is dedicated to 1983 graduate Ronald J. Ruben, who lost his life in the attacks. (COURTESY MARY KIERNAN)

Students and staff from Montclair State University spent the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks volunteering at several spots in the Montclair community.

At Montclair High School, volunteers worked with the Montclair High School Transitions program — which works with community partners to provide jobs for students with special needs — to garden and beautify the area around the 9/11 memorial beam. The beam is dedicated to 1983 graduate Ronald J. Ruben, who lost his life in the attacks. 

“We were able to generally clean up the area including gardening, planting flowers, painting rocks with symbolic phrases and gathering together to commemorate those whose lives were lost,” Mary Kiernan, one of the participating students, wrote to Montclair Local. Participants included members of Phi Sigma Sigma and Delta Phi Epsilon.

Volunteers also helped with gardening at Montclair Community farm, assigned tasks at Montclair History Center, cleaning at Nancy’s Place (Covenant House’s Montclair-based program for people with special mental health needs who are facing homelessness) and maintenance of buses at Brookdale Park.

Volunteers work to beautify the area around the 9/11 memorial beam at Montclair High School. The beam is dedicated to 1983 graduate Ronald J. Ruben, who lost his life in the attacks. (COURTESY MARY KIERNAN)
Volunteers work to beautify the area around the 9/11 memorial beam at Montclair High School. The beam is dedicated to 1983 graduate Ronald J. Ruben, who lost his life in the attacks. (COURTESY MARY KIERNAN)
Montclair State University student volunteers tackle an overflowing wheelbarrow at the Montclair Community Farm, as part of the institution’s 9/11 Day of Service. (COURTESY MSU)
Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell speaks with Hillary Han, the sister of Ronald Ruben, MHS class of 1983, who worked on the 89th floor of Two World Trade Center. Koppell and student volunteers worked to beautify the 9/11 memorial at Montclair High School as part of the 9/11 Day of Service. (COURTESY MSU)