The Home of Ground ZeroFrom the Desk of Susan Kone
Greetings From America’s District - The Home of Ground Zero
September 11, 2011
On this tenth anniversary, we remembered our neighbors and colleagues lost on September 11th and the heroic first responders who tried to save them. They will live on in our hearts -- in our thoughts -- and in the positive way in which they impacted our lives. We prayed for them -- their friends and family -- and all people affected by this horrific tragedy.
I attended a Memorial service honoring 11 firefighters of Ladder 35/ Engine 40 on the Upper Westside of Manhattan - Frank Callahan, John Ginley, Bruce Gary, Jimmy Giberson, Michael Otten, Steve Mercado, Kevin Bracken, Vincent Morello, Michael Roberts, Michael Lynch and Michael Dauria. As their family members addressed the group, I was profoundly saddened by their pain - inspired by their strength and courage --- and forever touched by the legacy of our fallen heroes.
Memorial services were held throughout the City. Parents spoke of the children they lost. Wives and husbands spoke of raising their families without their spouse. Brother and sisters described the quirks and qualities of the siblings they missed to try to "keep them alive". I was particularly taken by the words of teenage boy who explained the difficulty in growing up without a father:
“I would be at my game and all of the other fathers would be on the sidelines. I wish my dad could have been there. I hope he was looking down on me -- I hope I made him proud.”
He was one of 3000 children who lost parents on September 11th. Thanks to loving families and a committed community , these children have matured into wonderful young adults -- and we are so proud of all of them.
Those that perpetrated this cowardly attack may have destroyed some buildings -- but they will never destroy the American spirit. They aimed to weaken us -- but they only
strengthened our resolve and brought us closer together.
As Americans we will stand bold and united against those who seek to undermine our values and destroy our way of life. We will make certain that the 2,819 people who
died on September 11th and the tens of thousands killed and maimed in terror attacks across the globe have not suffered and died in vain. We are committed to working together with all people of goodwill to eradicate terror and the evil at its root.
With warm regards,