NJ Remembers Manchester Victims While Remaining Vigilant
TRENTON — New Jersey continues to remember the victims of Monday's bombing at the Ariana Grande concert, and to make sure something similar doesn't happen here as more arrests are made overseas.
State and U.S. flags will fly at half-staff on Wednesday, at state facilities, to honor the 22 people killed and 59 injured in the attack, according to an executive order issued by Gov. Chris Christie.
"It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of all the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester, especially the children and young people, and we pause to offer our deepest sympathies to their families, friends, and loved ones," Christie wrote, while calling for "decisive action" to punish those responsible for the bombing and ensure the safety of innocent people in the future.
The governor said his own 13-year-old daughter is a fan of Grande, and he could imagine waiting for her to come home from one of her concerts.
"It's incredibly disquieting to parents all over the world," Christie said.
Christie said that the New Jersey State Police are working with operators of entertainment venues to ensure safety, but also said the question of privacy vs. public safety was raised by the bombing.
"You know, we can have more and more cameras everywhere if we want to, but people also have to understand what the risk on privacy is then as well, and what balance do we want to strike. That has been the perpetual debate and discussion since September 11, 2001, and I think this incident just raises the stakes on that even higher," he said.
Laura Connolly of the state Office of Emergency Management said it's important for people to abide by the "see something, say something" rule especially during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
"Sometimes people are hesitant or they don't want to make a big deal about something. But this is really how a lot of the information we get is from the public and that's why we say we can't do it without you," Connolly said.
Other reaction to the bombing at Manchester Arena:
- State Police said they have security plans tailored for every large event and venue in the state. They are also conducting Target Hardening Deployments at many locations around the state, including malls, train stations, religious facilities, and learning institutions.
- New York Police Department spokesman J. Peter Donald said in a statement Tuesday that New Yorkers may see "heavy weapons teams," explosive detection dogs and counterterrorism officers. Authorities also are conducting random bag checks at New York City transit locations.
- The Empire State Building went dark on Tuesday night "in deep sympathy for the lives lost in Manchester."
- The United States Marine Corps band played "God Save the Queen," the United Kingdom's national anthem, at Yankee Stadium prior to the Yankees' game with the Kansas City Royals, to honor the victims of the "heinous and cowardly" attack. The team also displayed the Union Jack on the scoreboard.