A look back at 9/11/2001

From the archives: Former Town & Village editor Linda O’Flanagan covered the World Trade Center attacks for T&V when they occurred, taking these photos showing first responders in front of the ambulance entrance of Beth Israel on East 16th Street, traffic in the neighborhood following the attacks and memorials that popped up in the neighborhood following, as well as photos from Ground Zero.

Memorials popped up across the city, including this one on Avenue A near the corner of East 14th Street.

Continue reading

Focus on 9/11 illnesses at 18th memorial ceremony

Officers stand at attention during the memorial for the 18th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in front of the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street on Wednesday morning. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Speakers emphasized the ongoing effects of 9/11-related illnesses on members of law enforcement and first responders during the 13th precinct’s annual remembrance ceremony of the 2001 World Trade Center terror attacks this past Wednesday.

Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison, who assisted the 13th precinct in the aftermath of 9/11 and for months following, noted that more than ten times the number of NYPD members have died from 9/11-related illnesses since 2001, compared to the 23 NYPD members who died on the day of the attacks.

“Eighteen years later, hundreds of first responders continue to die on a regular basis of 9/11 related illnesses. Here are the numbers of the second tragedy that continues each day,” she said. “There were 400 toxic chemicals at the site. The number of first responders and survivors enrolled for monitoring or treatment is nearly 100,000. All the families ever ask is that we never forget. We can continue to honor those who died that day by being the ones who remember. It’s the very least we owe to the victims and the families they left behind.”

Patrick Lynch, President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, emphasized that many members of the NYPD have died from related illnesses and many others are currently suffering.

Continue reading

Opinion: A fitting tribute

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

Last weekend, my wife and I hosted friends of ours from the great state of Michigan who were visiting New York City. Of course they wanted to see all the sites of interest in Manhattan. We did that and we also saw some wonderful shows on Broadway, including “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Ain’t Too Proud,” which is a wonderful musical about the life and times of that great Motown singing group known as The Temptations. I recommend both shows.

But as we approach the 18th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, my friends wanted to go downtown to “Ground Zero” and see the area which for many New Yorkers, and Americans everywhere, has become sacred ground and a pilgrimage.

It is hard to believe that so many years have now passed since that dreadful day when nearly 3,000 people were killed by the two planes that crashed into the Twin Towers and caused such destruction. Surely it is a moment in time that none of us will ever forget. I was just a few hundred yards away when the planes struck. No New Yorker in particular can ever forget the grief and anger that we all felt as our city was attacked.

I found myself reliving the whole experience as I walked my friends from the Brooklyn Bridge subway stop across City Hall Park to Broadway and then along Church Street to the site. Retracing the very path that I travelled that morning on 9/11.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading