Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani


Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, December 27, 1998

Hear the Mayor's Message

The Blessings of Being Together During the Holidays
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

I hope you had a very merry Christmas on Friday with your family and friends, and I hope you don't have too many gifts that need to be returned.

This is always a wonderful season. No matter which holiday you celebrate, it's a time for us to reflect individually and as a City on the past year. It's also an opportunity to look to the year ahead, and to think about all that we have to be thankful for. This week we even got some snow to make the City look like it does in the movies and on postcards.

But in the midst of the celebrations, we should pause and recognize that it's been a very difficult holiday season for many New Yorkers, especially our firefighters and their families. As you know, we lost three brave firefighters in a three-alarm fire in Brooklyn last week. This week firefighters once again displayed their courage, as they do every day, in another very serious fire that took the lives of four civilians. And on Christmas Eve day, eight people died and many others were injured when a bus traveling from Brooklyn to Atlantic City overturned on the Garden State Parkway.

Our prayers are with the victims of these tragedies and their families. Experiencing grief of such magnitude so close to the holidays is unimaginable for many of us. It turns the joy that we normally associate with this time of year upside down and magnifies what is already terrible sorrow. I hope that in light of these tragedies, those of us who are lucky enough to be with our families and friends gain a real sense of perspective, cherish our loved ones, and honor the people who risk their lives to protect us. Our love, our thoughts, and our prayers are with the men and women we have lost these past two weeks.

This is a season when across the City we come together as families, neighborhoods, and communities. I can't begin to tell you all the wonderful examples of generosity that I've seen around New York, and that I see every year. New Yorkers reach out to one another, and to people around the world, with a spirit that is unmatched by any other city in the world. And the love that we express for one another isn't reserved for Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and the other religious observances that take place this time of year; instead, the holiday traditions are a dramatic expression of the way we feel about each other year-round. That's the wonderful thing about this season, and it is what makes New York City such a special place. We have more individual ambition here than anyplace else, and that's a great thing - but we also have a very deep sense of compassion, mutual respect, and community that I think can in many ways set an example for people around the world.

Happy Holidays to everyone and have a wonderful - and safe - New Year.

Go to Giuliani Archives | Dept. of Records | Home Page
Contact Us | FAQs | Privacy Statement | Site Map