TALKING POINTS FOR SEPTEMBER 11TH MEMORIAL
As we gather here today as a community, as a neighborhood of Brooklynites, of New Yorkers, and of Americans, we stand here still with pain in our hearts, tears in our eyes, and images before us of our darkest day.
This week, I am sure we have all spent time thinking back to this day 10 years ago, remembering how beautiful a Tuesday morning it was, and recalling where you were when you heard the Twin Towers were struck by airplanes in an act of terrorism.
As the interviews of survivors, of heroes and of family members have this week been broadcast on television and on radio, and as images have appeared in our newspapers and on our screens, Americans all across this great country have stopped what they are doing, so to reflect and remember, and so to pray for peace in our time.
Tonight, I host this memorial ceremony to commemorate the 10th Anniversary. So that we could be together as one people, so that we never forget the more than 3,000 people who died that morning, and those who from illness sparked by those attacks, have since perished.
This memorial is to remember those lives we lost.
To remember how mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors were robbed from us.
That these citizens were taken from us at the hands of cowards who attacked this nation, because of what we are.
These terrorists attacked this great Country because of the basic values in which we live our lives by each and every day.
The values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Here in the USA, we have freedom. We have liberty and we have justice.
Freedom to worship the God we want, to say what we want, and to live the life we want.
Those who died that morning were doing nothing more than embracing a life of freedom which they were accustomed to. They woke up and went to work. They did nothing more than that.
They should have never lost their lives.
Families, neighborhoods, schools, fire houses, police stations, should never have been forced to deal with such great loss.
And as the darkest moment of our time was upon us, in New York, in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon, we saw the best in humanity and the bravest in our emergency services.
Right here in our neighborhood, it was within minutes of the attack that my then City Council district office turned into a relief center for Southwest Brooklyn.
A center where men, women, and children came to help.
A place of hope for some.
A place of comfort for others.
A place to help, a place to cry, a place within the world where in fact it was okay to be.
And this center was developed by the people of Brooklyn. By the storeowners who sent us supplies we forwarded to the rescue workers at Ground Zero.
By the restaurants who donated food so that we could feed those men and women in uniform who as everyone ran from Lower Manhattan and out of the World Trade Center, were running to that part of our City and into those buildings.
It was almost at the same instance when images were shown of thousands of people escaping lower Manhattan, by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge covered in ash and in soot, that the people of Brooklyn responded to help.
The people of Brooklyn and of our City. Of our state. Of our Nation. Of our world.
Firefighters and police officers and citizens of the world arrived in New York, in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon to help. To aid with what was at first rescue, and which later became recovery, and then so to help us rebuild.
Never in all the years of my lifetime have I have ever witnessed such a response. And so on the darkest day, and in the weeks and months and years that followed, the very best of people was proudly on display.
We buried our dead with respect and dignity, and yet some still have never been found.
Our Armed Forces have since been deployed to defend us and fight against threats and cells of terrorism throughout our world.
And today, we opened the September 11th Memorial Museum and every day, we rebuild more of the World Trade Center.
The strength of the American people is strong and we are moving forward.
May we never be afraid to call this land our land, from sea to shining sea, and may we always hold our head up high and be proud that we walk, and we live in freedom, in the greatest community, in the greatest City, in the greatest State and in the Greatest Nation in the world.
May God Bless America now and forever.