The Fire Department of New York Rescue 1 Firehouse located at 530 West 43rd Street was the place to be this morning at 7am. Focused on 911 Remembrances, Governor Mario Cuomo met Billy Joel, Firemen, NY & NJ Port Authority, among City, State and Federal Police and special detail, who together mounted their motorcycles to ride downtown to Ground Zero and Memorial Park for a special prayer service. Twelve years ago today 343 FDNY Fire fighters were killed trying dutifully to rescue people from the flaming World Trade Center Twin Towers which had been crashed into by hijacked civilian aircraft piloted by murderers. 37 New York and New Jersey Port Authority Police and 27 New York City Police Officers also were killed along with thousands of civilians across the nation.
Today will be filled with 911 memorial dedications while New Yorkers still await the formal outcome of yesterday’s New York City preliminary vote to establish final Democratic and Republican Mayoral Candidates. Democratic Mayoral Candidates Bill de Blasio now holds 40.10% of the vote and his opponent Bill Thompson refuses to concede until every vote has been counted. Generally a Mayoral Candidate for the City of New York can avoid a party run off by holding 40% of the vote. However depending on final vote tallies for Thompson, a run off is possible. Joe Lhota was the clear Republic frontrunner for Mayor. Today at the 911 Memorial Services which are expected to last just over 4 hours, politicians will remain silent. It is a day of mourning and remembrances for all people – not a campaign opportunity.
As the Mayoral race takes a back burner, New Yorkers meditate to the sound of bagpipes which began the ceremonies at Memorial Park at 8:45am followed by a moment of silence at 8:46am. The silence will mark the exact time that American airlines flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The ceremonies will likewise continue in a meaningful way marking the turn of events across our nation twelve years ago today with a moment of silence for each occurrence. At 9:03 American Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center and will be marked by a moment of silence. 9:33am for American Airlines Flight 77 in Washington D.C., 9:55am for the falling of the South Tower in NY, 10:03am the time that United Flight 93 went down near the Pentagon and silence at 10:27am to mark the falling of the North Tower in NY. In the Evening at Sundown a light show will commemorate the fallen towers.
One thing is sure about New Yorkers, by and large, they are neither daunted by celebrity nor the flaunting of excessive wealth. This morning Governor Cuomo turned up as did Billy Joel, both brothers in the fold amid other brothers rebounding from, while sharing in somber memories of great loss. With helmets on and bikes rolling no one can differentiated on person from the other. The FDNY, the various Police Departments are all brothers and sisters who likewise, in uniform one undifferentiated for the other – entered burning buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. They lead with no regard for their own financial nor celebrated station in life. All of them were on their last and fateful united mission to save the lives of others. It is befitting that no politician, no celebrity, no one flaunting excessive wealth should use the 911 Memorial for personal gain. The New York 911 Memorial Commission got it right – because by and large, it’s about the people, for the people by the people of this great city. Those who were killed live on within our hearts and in our minds and through our great FDNY, Military, Police and Civil Service workers who daily continue to serve to maintain the freedoms of this great nation.
The photographs accompanying this article, were taken this morning by Cinti Laird at 530 West 43rd Street by Rescue 1 FDNY where FDNY, Police Department and Military kicked off today’s 911 Memorial with 7:20am motorcycle ride from West 43rd Street to Ground Zero and New York’s Memorial Park. Television networks are airing the memorial services live throughout the day for those who can not attend in person.
Written By: Cinti Laird
Sources: FDNY Rescue 1, Gov. Cuomo, Billy Joel, City, State, Local, Federal Police