WTC Tribute In Light. Image Credit-Andrew Dallos:

NYC Remembers September 11th, 2001: Why We Will Never Ever Forget

It’s been eighteen years since September 11th. How is this possible? It seems like just yesterday we all experienced chaos and uncertainty, sadness and loss. The hands of time just keeps moving, and that infamous day creeps further into the past each year. Even so, no New Yorker ever wants to forget. At least 275 people living on Staten Island, or who once lived on the Island, were lost on that fateful day.

One World Trade Center Towers Above The Skyline. Note the Reflecting Pools, In Front, The Footprints Of The Former WTC Towers 1 & 2. World One World Trade Center Towers Above The Skyline. Note the Reflecting Pools, In Front, The Footprints Of The Former WTC Towers 1 & 2. World Trade Center Image Courtesy Of Alphabet Inc. Copyright 2019

One World Trade Center Towers Above The Skyline. Note the Reflecting Pools, In Front, The Footprints Of The Former WTC Towers 1 & 2. World Trade Center Image Courtesy Of Alphabet Inc. Copyright 2019 USDA Farm Service Agency

 

Various memorial ceremonies were held across Staten Island and beyond. On September 11th of this year, nearly everywhere you went, there were reminders of our City’s, and Nation’s, terrible loss. From the Angels’ Circle in Grasmere, to firehouses across the city that lost brave firefighters now nearly two decades ago, we remembered.

WTC Tribute In Light. Image Credit-Andrew Dallos:

WTC Tribute In Light. Image Credit: Andrew Dallos

In the days and weeks following the harrowing events of 9-11, there were so many mixed emotions. Shock. Loss. Anger. Sadness.But anyone living in Westerleigh, and elsewhere, also remembers something else, something positive. We all came together. Attacked as a people, as a country, we all understood there was something more important than pettiness.

The love and kindness, understanding and togetherness that we all felt in those days and weeks was very real. And, that was the gift that was inadvertently brought to us by the perpetrators of these crimes; they couldn’t have imagined how the events would galvanize us all to care about our communities, those experiencing loss, and one another. We all prayed. We all cried. Some of us toiled endlessly to undo the damage, at least the physical aspect of it.

WTC Tribute In Light, 2019. Looking North From Snug Harbor Train Station, North Shore SI Railroad Line. Image Credit: StatenIslander.org

WTC Tribute In Light, 2019. Looking North From Snug Harbor Train Station, North Shore SI Railroad Line. Image Credit: StatenIslander.org

So many men and women labored daily, with little sleep, on “the pile”, the steaming, stinking wreckage of the World Trade Center. In the years since, many have succumbed to rare cancers and other illnesses, and have themselves made the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives slowly, so that the rest of us could go on and live another day. So that their brother firefighters’ remains could have a dignified burial. So that the giant wound in lower Manhattan could slowly be transformed back into a place where life happens, and not death.

 

Who doesn’t remember what they were doing on that blue-skied day? Most of us responded with disbelief. Some of us witnessed the towers going down. Others were covered in dust from the cloud that spread like a cyclone through Manhattan’s streets. But all of us, no matter our skin color, religion, or national origin, felt the tremendous weight of the event. Our idyllic American life had been shattered in place; interlopers had stolen our peace and joy, our friends and family, in one fell swoop.

The Twin Towers stood as reminders of our prosperity, of all that was right and good about America. Sure; we had our issues, but we also had our National Pride. Perhaps attacking the Statue of Liberty would have been the only symbol for New Yorkers that could have equaled the WTC buildings in terms of an attack on a physical structure that stood for America and NYC.

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (83)

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (83)

But then, there weren’t thousands of innocent people there, and so maybe that wouldn’t have even felt as badly as losing the World Trade Center. It wasn’t just a symbol the craven terrorists took from us that day, it was thousands of lives, lives that matters to tens of thousands more people, their co-workers, neighbors, wives, husbands, kids, family, and friends.

The void created by the loss of lives fostered something entirely unanticipated. In this way, the attacks backfired on the perpetrators. A show of American resilience and love was with us all, and if anything, this is the most important part of what we should never forget. The sacrifices made were real. But so was the concern for one’s neighbor, the extra consideration we all gave to one another after the tragedy.

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (89)

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (89)

FDNY Rescue 5, located on Clove Road, lost eleven of its bravest on 9-11. Other firehouses across the borough, and the city, also suffered incredible losses. Of the nearly 3,00 innocent souls snuffed out that day, 343 were firefighters, 37 were Port Authority Police, and 23 were NYPD officers. While memorial services will not bring back those heroes who gave their all, the candle lighting ceremonies and memorials renew hope that their lives were not taken in vain.

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (119)

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (119)

We must all remember. Those born after 9-11 must be taught the meaning of the day: the value of sacrifice, the unequaled splendor of valor. 9-11-2001 must never become “just another day,” just another part of history. 9-11 changed America forever.

Those responsible made a big mistake, and the repercussions are yet reverberating throughout our society and our City. It’s not over yet, not by a long shot. Many first responders are still dying; many of the Bravest are still falling ill from the most mysterious illnesses, no doubt caused by working at Ground Zero, hissing with molten steel, asbestos, and chemicals of all sorts. How will 9-11 yet change our city? Can this horrible event still affect positive change, even after nearly twenty years? It must.

There were stories of miracles.  Stories of utter tragedy. Stories of ultimate sacrifice. Eighteen years is not quite so long ago as it seems. The names were read again. The tears flowed again. Now, we have the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund enacted into law (The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund), thanks to President Trump.

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (67)

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic atTunnel to Towers Golf Classic. Image Credit StatenIslander (67)

Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (129)

The Hon. Rudy Guiliani Speaks. Tunnel to Towers Golf Classic at Liberty National Goft Course. Image Credit StatenIslander (129)

This summer also saw the 5th Annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation Golf Outing at Liberty National Golf Course, hosted annually by The Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, NYC’s mayor at the time of 9-11. Each and every time I have been there, it reminds me that not everything that resulted from 9-11 was negative. The outpouring of love was palpable at Liberty National each year; no words can truly describe how it felt. For a writer, that’s rare.

From darkness, let there be Light! May the victims’ lives never be forgotten. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

28 Comments

  • Avatar Blackhawk says:

    Thank you for this article, editors. Your paper is truly among the highest echelons of the Press. The sincerity among you all is refreshing.

    • Avatar StatenIslander.org_Editor says:

      Thanks, kindly, for the inspiring compliment. It means a great deal to everyone here at the Staten Islander News Organization. We work hard to be our best in all that we do.

      -StatenIslander.Org Editors

  • Avatar Fake news is never good news says:

    What did you get your cop buddies to drive by just at that very moment with their lights flashing? hahaha I notice no sirens. That was the giveaway. Boys guess you have to try harder to make your fake news.

    Obviously F A K E and staged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry but I can see BS when it is right in front of my face. I should report you and the cops driving the car to the city hall for wasting my taxpayer dollars. This is not Hollywood you know.

    This lame photo op just reeks of trying to get clicks. I’m as real as the next guy but why so much BS about 9/11/01? We all lived thru it so what? Say a prayer and move on. It is already 20 years ago.

    Just surprised you didn’t get a firetruck to do a no siren lights flashing drive by. That would have been much better tho just as fake.

    • Avatar Citizen108 says:

      GET A LIFE!

      BETTER YET, MOVE OUT OF NYC!

      YOURE GOING TO REPORT IT TO CITY HALL? SERIOUSLY?

      PLEASE TAKE YOUR MEDS. YOUR DOCTOR PRESCRIBED PILL BOTTLE IS CALLING.

      • Avatar jensen5150 says:

        This is what you get when you allow anyone to post comments without an account without any accountability. The articles here are good. The comments not so much. Also the time is always wrong on the comments. What’s up with that? It’s only 12:54 but I already know it is going to say 4:54 when I submit.

        -Jensen5150

        • Avatar StatenIslander.org_Editor says:

          Here at the Staten Islander News Org, we value our Freedom of Expression, as Americans.

          Sure, the cost is a that some readers may not have the most cogent arguments, but at least here, everyone has a voice.

          Thanks for pointing out the issue with the time zone. We’ve corrected the problem. If the issue persists, please don’t hesitate to e-mail or leave another reply detailing what’s happening.

          -StatenIslander.Org Editors

    • Avatar KungFuCharlie777 says:

      Why so bitter? How about sit back and take a deep breather and think about what you write before you write it. You make some strange assumptions about staged videos then go off from there into real weird territory. If you contacted the Mayor’s office, they’d think you’re just a kook.

      “We all lived through it so what?” is heartless. Did you lose anyone? Were you directly affected? I will wager the answer is NO. Your attitude and statements make no sense. People come together on 9 11 but you choose to distance yourself.

      And, BTW, seeing police on the Terrace is no big deal. It’s not like your accusations really merit response but I feel like I need to say something. If you choose to pray for those who we lost, that’s great. Just don’t act so inconsiderately and make statements about how others choose to remember. And be thankful you DIDN’T lose someone you cared about on that day. So many other people weren’t so lucky. Think of how you would feel if you were in their shoes reading your comment.

  • Avatar Jensen5150 says:

    I see 911 memorials all over the news and the newscasters are in a few cases just saying whatever. They are told what to say. Do they really care? I get the feeling that your editors at Staten Islanders really do care. That makes me feel a little reassured that even this paper that is often very liberal at times does not show a hatred for our country. My family came here by choice. We were not poor and basically moved from one home we owned into another. I know that isn’t the classic story but it’s true. I just hate when liberals spew hatred. Being politically to the left is one thing but hating everything good in your country is another. The reporters here are aces. No contesting that. They say what they mean and show a true concern for the stories they report on.

  • Avatar CrankyFrankyFromDirtyJersey says:

    We love you guys at the Staten Islander. This was worth reading and wasn’t just lip service. You could tell that the writers really love their country and understand what September 11th was really all about.

  • Avatar BlueMan1 says:

    good story many thx

  • What gives with Rudy’s video? I clicked on the link at the very bottom of this page and there was a link to a video posted on twitter.com. It has no crredits but shows protesters burning a flag and then charging the police. Anyone know if this was a repost or where it came from?

    https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1171663086178185217/video/1

    I had to watch it a few times to get it. The cop is the person watching TV as a kid and in the military. At first I didn’t realize that. But what does this mean? I know in the Bronx, cops were being hit with water and now other liquids. Is that what this video is about?

    The prrotesters in the video all had signs that were anti-police. I guess being anti-police can never be defended. I am a socialist so I’m happy none of the signs were socialist themed. And hey, the cops are all in unions so no intelligent socialist would attack them anyway!

    People say the cops defend the “hegemony” but mostly, they defend the average Joe from getting robbed on the ferry and come from average backgrounds. I am just a little uneasy b/c protesting is the American way and the video seems to show protesting in a bad light.

    Maybe it’s meant to show Antifa? I hate Antifa and don’t agree with many of their tactics. They put socialists in a very bad light. I love Bernie and the Green New Deal but not throwing dye at people or armed uprisings. Back in Seattle guys dressed in black covering their faces were there to make the protesters look bad by breaking windows,etc.. Antifa does the same thing to legitimate protest.

    • Avatar Reality Bites says:

      Get a life commie. Figure it out before its too late that socialism is bad news and theres basically no difference between you and antifa.

      • Avatar Socialist But Can't Stand Antifa says:

        So your newspaper prints any comments, eh? Why thendid my comment get “lost” and the web site said I was posting too fast? I posted one other comment THREE hours ago. Something fishy here. Same old c*** everywhere I post. Don’t think this site is so friendly to everyone, regardless of what they claim.

        Anyway, I’ll try to reconstruct the comment from memory.

        Antifa and myself are 180 degrees apart. I hate violence. My way is the American way, making change thru the ballot box. I think it’s a smart guess that Reality Bites works for the city or at least has a family member that does. How will it be when fire/police/teachers/sanitation is privatized? Will it be fun when we all work for Amazon? Oh, and the highways are going to be privately owned toll-roads too, soon. But remember you said socialism sucks.

        That’s not what I wrote, not even close, but blame this paper.

        • Avatar StatenIslander.org_Editor says:

          Sorry about the lost comment but it may have had something to do with our switching over to the correct time. We do not censor anything, ever. Curses and non-PG language do get filtered, but that is absolutely it.

          -StatenIslander.org Editors

          • Avatar WhoElseStillRemembers says:

            I also was having trouble and that’s way after you posted your response to this other user. Can you still tell me it’s just “time adjustment”?

            I entered my e-mail but then the web site explained that I needed to enter an email. Next, I clicked on the go back button but my comment was miraculously gone.

            I get the feeling that users can post any comments here but there’s no guarantee the interface won’t mysteriously freeze when something the editors don’t like gets posted.

          • Avatar COMMS MNGR says:

            I just got the same “please enter e-mail msg”

            E-mail was there

            ?????????????????????????????????

      • Avatar get real says:

        Why does the Fox video embedded on this page say there will be 6 different moments of silence for each of the six planes that crashed?

        That day they said there were 6 planes hijacked. Can someone please explain.

      • Avatar Socialist But Can't Stand Antifa says:

        “Socialism involves the working-class ownership of the means of production and requires equality. ”

        https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/democratic-socialists-america-antifa/

        Not every socialist endorses ANTIFA. Not even close. I hate their action and would never engage in violence. I believe in the ballot box. That’s how we do things here in the US. My family fought in wars. I have relatives that are police. And some that are gone and also retired police.

        The Proud Boys are just as bad. Two wrongs don’t make a right. They also use violence and that solves nothing.

        New York City firefighters protest low salaries

        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/10/fire-o15.html

  • Avatar Honor NYC Bravest Forever says:

    This year’s Sept 11 memorials were moving like always. Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9, that firehouse near Times Square on 8th Ave lost the most men on that day. 15 souls.

    This year, the firehouse was very busy with people from all over the world stopping by to honor those lost at the private firehouse ceremony. It was mobbed with firefighters from all over. These guys gave everything for the city.

  • Avatar WhoElseStillRemembers says:

    Yup. That was what was said on that day. It was beyond hectic and the intelligence coming in was much wider than most remember. A lot of stuff. The website I mention is spotty kookiness and rife with misinformation and conspiracy junk, but the main 9 11 page is pretty accurate:

    http://www.cyberspaceorbit.com/warrant.htm

    Also, no mention here of the many suspicious packages placed in public trash receptacles all over the city.

    Anyone also recall that on emergency/police channels?

  • Avatar Max55 says:

    Thank you, editors. This paperless paper as you call it, is really shaping up to be something different. Quality stories but just a little thin on content.

  • Avatar COMMS MNGR says:

    A lot of changes came about after 9-11 so that the same situation could never happen again. So, firefighters in the future will be safer and we will have a safer NYC.

    We worked on a project after 9-11 to help firefighters have improved communications in skyscrapers at the company I was working with at the time by improving the comm system within buildings.

    Another issue was UHF and VHF radios that could not talk inter-agency. Now we have Citywide 1 New York by Citywide Disaster Services. Hon. Chief Brooks was at the forefront of its formation.

    Also, Altech Electronics innovated the FDNY command post radios., now being employed by all New York City Fire Department Division and Battalion Chiefs as well as Special Operations and Marine Units.

    • Avatar Foxtrot Xray 2217 ..-. --- -..- - .-. --- - / -..- .-. .- -.-- / ..--- ..--- .---- --... says:

      Is that you Joe?

      .. … / – …. .- – / -.– — ..- –..– / .— — . ..–..

      Foxtrot Xray 2217
      ..-. — -..- – .-. — – / -..- .-. .- -.– / ..— ..— .—- –…

  • Avatar Grateful For All says:

    Thanks to the Staten Islander News Agency for this piece.

    To all the commenters: Can’t you stop being so self-centered for even one day?

    Think for a second before you post. 9-11 is not about you. Or your politics. Stop hijacking the comments thread and making it your personal soapbox.

    It’s about the lives lost, the new hope, and the sense of community that grew out of those horrific events.

  • Avatar ELTINGVILLE BOXER says:

    All those who lost their lives on September 11th, may you Rest In Peace and watch us all. To their loved ones, I hope that knowing we all care makes bearing the load a little bit less.

    I feel like I’ve stumbled into a hidden world here. Staten Islander is definitely off the map. A real underground. I feel like I missed the party, but at least I’m not that late to arrive. 🙂 This place beats any other news site I’ve seen that covers NYC, hands down. Your articles are way more in depth and explain the issues with more clarity. I hope you guys can keep up the pace and put out more quality reporting.

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