A Special 9/11 Message
by Susan Kone
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 of goodwill affected by this horrific tragedy.
I attended one of many memorial services that were held at local firehouses throughout the City. The service honored the 11 heroic responders of Ladder 35/ Engine 40 on the Upper West Side 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 these fallen heroes.
Parents spoke of the children they lost. Wives and husbands spoke of raising their families without their spouse. Brother and sisters spoke with humor and in detail about the siblings they missed. 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 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.