Pols’ Remarks Honor Victims, Sacrifice of Sept. 11

Pols’ Remarks Honor Victims, Sacrifice of Sept. 11

By Michael V. Cusenza

Elected officials at all levels posted heartfelt statements this week to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“On this solemn day, let us pause to honor the lives lost, the heroes who emerged, and the indomitable spirit that unites us as a nation,” City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) said. “May we never forget the sacrifices and the impact of that day.”

State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Woodhaven) wrote, “There is now an entire generation of New Yorkers who weren’t alive when the attacks happened, and it is up to us to keep our promise to never forget. We can live up to that promise by remembering those who perished in the tragedy and the brave first responders who rushed directly into danger and gave their lives to help save others. We should tell the stories of the largest rescue mission our country has ever witnessed. We must also provide the surviving first responders with the healthcare they deserve for the conditions they developed from risking their lives on that fateful day.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday delivered his remarks on the Senate floor. Here they are (edited for space):

“I was at Ground Zero this morning and when you just hear the names that were read of every different background, they have people come up who have lost loved ones, every different background, every different philosophy, race, creed, color, religion, origin, talking about the people they lost.

And I’ll remember, when I went down the day after, when President Bush sent a plane for then-Senator Clinton and I to come up, a thousand people holding up little signs: “have you seen my brother Bill? Have you seen my daughter Mary?” Because when people were missing that first day, people had hoped and prayed that maybe they were still alive. But, of course, very few were.

So, a lifetime can pass, but to me, it always feels like yesterday. I look out my window, I see the Freedom Tower, a symbol of resilience in New York. You can see it from my window in Brooklyn. But I also think of the Twin Towers that were there and so many who were lost. I remember that day: the smell of the pile, human flesh, the noise from the chaos of the aftermath, the images of destruction that New Yorkers and Americans had never seen.

But most of all, that day stays with me because on that day, and in the days that followed, I saw countless ordinary Americans do extraordinary things. Taxi drivers and store managers and businessmen and city workers – and so many others – dropped what they were doing and became heroes. Gave blood. Organized prayer vigils. Helped neighbors track down family members. Visited with loved ones and friends who had lost loved ones.

I saw firefighters and policemen and union workers and rescue workers cast aside any concern for their own safety as they worked the pile. Many of them – far too many – became sick and even died because of their illnesses.

So, may God bless the memories of all those who perished on 9/11. May God bless our first responders, our service members, their families. And may God bless our great democracy and may we keep it.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>