Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, December 20, 1998

Hear the Mayor's Message

Standing up to Hussein's Defiance
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

This week, as a result of Saddam Hussein's continued defiance and his refusal to live up to his promise to allow on-site United Nations inspections for weapons of mass destruction, President Clinton - with the support of the Prime Minister of Great Britain and leaders from across the international community - ordered a strong, sustained series of air strikes against military and intelligence targets in Iraq.

I support, and I believe the overwhelming majority of the people of New York City support the President's decision. Equally important, we all very much support our troops, as well as personnel from other nations that are involved in this action. We pray for them and for a speedy and just resolution of this conflict. This is a holy season for at least three major religions of the world. We hope that God protects these brave men and women and guides them safely home.

All New Yorkers should know that because there was the very real possibility of military action against Iraq earlier this year - in combination with other factors, including the trial of alleged terrorists being conducted in the Southern District of New York - security precautions had already been gradually increased at significant places throughout the City, placing the City at a fairly high level of security.

As a result, the additional increase in security because of this week's military action will probably not be as noticeable.

On Friday morning, three firefighters battling a three-alarm fire in Brooklyn - Firefighter James Bohan, Firefighter Christopher Bopp, and Lieutenant Joseph Cavalieri - lost their lives in the line of duty. Four other firefighters were injured in the fire, as were five civilians - two very seriously. I want to offer my support and prayers to all of them and their families, and to all our firefighters, who all experience this tragedy personally and directly.

This is a terrible tragedy for the City of New York. We have lost three men who, every time they put on the uniform, risked losing their lives to save the lives of others. Especially during this holiday season, it should have all of us reflect on the profound expression of love that the New York Fire Department and its firefighters and fire officers give us every day, every night.

They walk into fires to save lives without asking the race, religion, gender, age, or background of who is in danger. They ask only one question: is human life at stake?

To Lieutenant Cavalieri, Firefighters Bohan and Bopp, and their families and colleagues - we give our prayers, respect and love. We ask God to protect all of them and give them peace.

Meanwhile, here at home, the City received some very good local news.

On Thursday I announced that, if this year ends as expected, New York City will have gained more private sector jobs this year than at any time since employment statistics were first gathered in 1951.

With the latest increase of about 2,600 jobs for the month of November and 5,800 jobs - more than initially expected - for the month of October. That means that the yearly gain in jobs through the first 11 months of this year is 82,700 - bringing our total since I've been in office to almost 280,000. I want to congratulate all the people who have made this possible, particularly the private sector, which has shown confidence in the City of New York and in the direction we have been moving over the last five years.

We're seeing progressively increasing investment and new business in the City - a welcome change from the very recent past, when the issue was how much investment and how many jobs would we lose. From City Hall, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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