FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SPEAKS AT THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY SEPTEMBER 11TH MEMORIAL CEREMONY
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s remarks as prepared for delivery.
"Reverend Madigan; Governor Paterson; Governor Corzine; Port Authority Chair Coscia and Executive Director Ward; Members of the Port Authority staff and extended family; distinguished guests.
"This is truly a day for remembering. Remembering those we lost on 9/11, including 84 members of the Port Authority, and also those who perished in the first attack on the World Trade Center, on February 26th, 1993.
"It's a day for honoring the bravery of the first responders who, without a thought to their own safety, rushed into the burning towers to rescue so many people. It's a day for recalling how New Yorkers pulled together to comfort one another, and then worked together to bring our city back. It's also a day for recognizing the great strengths of our city and our society, the strengths that protect us from those who wish us harm.
"One of those strengths is our diversity, which was certainly on display during today's ceremonies at Zuccotti Park. This morning, we recalled how people from more than 90 nations and territories were lost at the World Trade Center on 9/11. And today, college students from those nations joined 9/11 family members in the annual reading of the names.
"It was a vivid reminder that New York is the world's most international city, and it underscored the important mission of the Port Authority, on 9/11 and every day since then: to keep the doors of New York open to the rest of the world, to promote trade, assist in travel, and encourage the free global movement of people, goods, and ideas.
"All of that is precisely what the terrorists hate and fear. But their hate and fear puts them on the wrong side of history.
"From the very beginning, from the days nearly 400 years ago when all that stood on this part of Manhattan was a frontier outpost, New York has welcomed people from everywhere, in all their marvelous variety, and told them: come here to study, to work, to worship, and to live and be free. That's what makes us the world's greatest city.
"Later today, we'll see something else remarkable at the World Trade Center site: the Presidential candidates of our two major parties, united as Americans on this day of remembrance.
"Terrorists like those who attacked us on 9/11 don't understand our political system. They look at our intense election campaigns, they hear the strong disagreements we express with one another, and they see disunity and weakness.
"That's a profound misunderstanding of who we are. It's our very ability to disagree that keeps us strong and, in the end, united as Americans. It's the fact that we know we can express our ideas forcefully and freely that's at the heart of why we love our country so dearly, and why we will always defend her and the freedoms that she represents.
"Between tomorrow and Election Day on November 4th, we'll express our disagreements - like Americans. And then after the votes are counted, we'll come together - like Americans. Just like we have today - just like we did on 9/11 - just like we always will when our nation is tested.
"So in that spirit, let's remember those who gave their lives on 9/11 - including the men and women of the Port Authority.
"May God bless their souls. May God bless and protect each of you. And May God bless this wonderful land, America."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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