Sep 11, 2010

9-11 (repost from last year)

On September 11, 2001, New York City and Washington DC were attacked by terrorists. Staten Island is less then ten miles from Ground Zero, or the Pit, as it is also know in Manhattan.

The Twin Towers were located in Downtown Manhattan, an extremely convenient location for Staten Island commuters. The 8:00 and 8:15 ferry boats were generally packed with people who would hop a train for two stops to the World Trade Center. It is about a 15 minute walk from the South Ferry Terminal.

Staten Island played three major roles in the 9-11 attacks in New York. First we were one of the largest communities hit with 267 victims, if I am not mistaken. More now that people are dying from the damage that was done to their lungs while they worked at the Pit clearing the debris and other tasks. Not to mention those living with ailments caused from the events that day.

Second it was extremely easy for our firemen to get into the city, including Rescue 5 on Clove Road, which led to almost an entire firehouse on Staten Island, losing their lives.

And third, the least known outside of New York, is the Fresh Kills Landfill. The Landfill was officially shut down in May of 2001. It was then set up as the place for all the debris from Ground Zero to be hauled and sifted through in September. The west mound at the landfill is now considered to be the largest resting place for the 9-11 victims by some. When the work to renovate Fresh Kills to a park is completed, a Memorial will be erected for 9-11 there as well.

This article is going up on 9-11-09. Today is the 8th anniversary of the attacks. The weather in Staten Island is harsh, rainy and windy. Our firemen are all over the island assisting in the removal of knocked down trees, including one on my corner as I write this, a far cry from where they were eight years ago on that sunny day in 2001.

Others are at the several memorial sites and ceremonies today. We have the Postcards next to the St. George Ferry Terminal, Angel's Circle in Grasmere, a mass at St. Peter's in St. George (last night), a memorial at the Alice Austin house and a street naming at Rescue 5, and many more throughout the island.

Many people say NEVER FORGET about today. When you hear that and remember, please remember all that were involved: The victims and their families, the Firefighters who made it out alive and helped search the site for their missing brothers, the Police Department, the Sanitation Department, the Port Authority, the rescue dogs, the people who made it out of the buildings, especially those who were hurt badly or can no longer bring themselves back to Manhattan, the teachers who had to figure out how to run their classes knowing children had lost loved ones and were afraid more was coming, people from other states that arrived with supplies and help at the Pit, and the soldiers who went to war over this attack and are still protecting us from more today. This list could go on forever.

Also remember each and every one of us who got up the next day and went on with our lives sending the greatest message of all to the terrorists that we will not be terrorized....

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