Bayonne is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States, south of Jersey City. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city had a total population of 61,842. According to tradition, the city derives its name from the city of Bayonne in France. It is said that French Huguenots settled there some time before New Amsterdam was founded. French-speaking Walloons were a large percentage of the population of New Netherland during the mid-seventeenth century and may have given the name. However, there are no historical records to prove this, and it has been alternatively suggested that, when the land was purchased for real estate speculation, it was named Bayonne because it is on the shores of two bays, Newark and New York, hence Bay-on, or "on the Bays. " Bayonne is a diverse city, with large communities of Italian, Irish and Polish Americans . Bayonne was originally formed as a township on April 1, 1861, from portions of Bergen Township. Bayonne was reincorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 10, 1869, replacing Bayonne Township, subject to the results of a referendum held nine days later. Bayonne is connected to Staten Island, New York by the Bayonne Bridge. The Bayonne Bridge is lit in patriotic colors (red, white & blue) in the evenings, as a 9/11 memorial initiated by a then 8-year-old girl in the summer of 2002, Veronica Marie Granite, with the assistance of then-Municipal Councilmember-at-Large Maria Karczewski.