13th Precinct remembers 9/11 on 15th anniversary

Officers of Emergency Service Truck #1, the 13th Precinct, the K9 unit and NYPD retirees who returned for the WTC Remembrance Ceremony along with Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison in front of the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street (Photo by William Baker/Courtesy of the PBA of the NYPD)

Officers of Emergency Service Truck #1, the 13th Precinct, the K9 unit and NYPD retirees who returned for the WTC Remembrance Ceremony along with Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison in front of the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street (Photo by William Baker/Courtesy of the PBA of the NYPD)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Officers of the 13th Precinct and residents of Gramercy commemorated the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center this past Sunday.

Officers gathered outside the precinct at 8:30 a.m. and observed a moment of silence at 8:46, the time that the first plane collided with the north tower.

Calvary Church on East 21st Street hosted one service at 11 a.m. on the day of the anniversary and invited Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, to speak about the parish’s partnership with the community in the days and weeks following the attacks.

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Opinion: That day: A personal recollection

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

Can it really be 15 years already since that darkest of days when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists, as well as the Pentagon, resulting in the death of over 3,000 innocent American citizens? A third attack probably aimed at Washington D.C. was thwarted by brave passengers on board a flight over Pennsylvania. They heroically lost their lives as well.

Among the dead in New York City were hundreds of firefighters, police officers and other first responders. Hundreds more have since succumbed to illnesses connected with inhaling of the toxic air which hung thick over “Ground Zero” for weeks after the collapse of the Twin Towers. Many of those dead or presently ill persons included ironworkers and construction workers and others who diligently worked to uncover any remains and to sort out the twisted beams strewn about the rubble.

Do you remember the hundreds of lamp posts covered with pictures of missing friends and relatives? They never returned home and they were never buried. There was nothing left of their mortal selves. For days after September 11, 2001 residents of this city walked the streets in silence trying to get on with their work or the daily routine of their lives. We greeted each other with a nod or a shrug. Maybe a knowing gesture. There were no words, only abject sadness and anger.

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Thirteenth Precinct holds 9/11 ceremony

Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney of the 13th Precinct and Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney of the 13th Precinct and Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD gathered with community residents last Friday morning to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and honor the officers of the 13th Precinct, Moira Smith and Robert Fazio, who lost their lives.

The ceremony began at 8:30 and there was a moment of silence held at 8:46 a.m., the time that the first plane flew into the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

Reverend Tom Pike, former rector of Calvary Church, gave an invocation for the memorial, first reflecting on the dedication of the men and women of service who were working that day.

“Someone here was telling me earlier that there were two things he would never forget,” Pike said. “One was walking down those stairs out of the tower. The second thing he said was, ‘I’ll never forget that I saw people walking up those same stairs, the men and women in uniform, and I’ll never forget those faces.’ We’ll never forget these people.”

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The real Rudy Giuliani

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

On September 10, 2001 Rudy Giuliani was approaching the end of his eight year tenure as Mayor of the City of New York. As he entered his final four months his popularity and approval ratings had ebbed to its low point.

In spite of his successes in starting to reverse the high crime rates in the city, the electorate had clearly had enough. Tired of his sullenness, tired of his tirades, divisiveness and his “my way or the highway” approach to governing, the polls indicated that had he been able to seek a third term as chief executive of the city, he would be rejected by the voters.

And then the world as we knew it came to an end on September 11. Two hijacked planes slammed into the Twin Towers causing them to crumble and crushing 2,800 innocent men and women. The war with terrorism had begun and New York City was ground zero.

During the aftermath Mayor Giuliani showed extraordinary leadership and an uncommon calm in the midst of that catastrophe. He earned the respect and praise of Republicans and Democrats alike. 9-11 changed the way people perceived the man.

But ultimately it was just a facade as the real Giuliani surfaced again last week.

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