Former Erie County Sheriff Was Part Of Post 9-11 Cleanup A Decade Ago
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – 59th District) joined thousands this weekend to take part in the official opening of the 9-11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City. Ten years ago, as then Sheriff of Erie County, Gallivan led a contingent of sheriffs deputies from across the state to Lower Manhattan to assist federal and local agencies during the post 9-11 clean-up efforts.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t reflect upon the destruction and carnage I saw at Ground Zero, but as devastating and as frightening as those days were, it was also a time when all Americans stood as one, united in grief, hope and compassion,” said Gallivan. “Today’s ceremony is a testament that despite our apparent differences, we are still a nation, and still a citizenry, grounded in unity and common purpose.”
After years of clean-up, planning and development, design and construction, the 9-11 Memorial will be officially opened on the site of the former World Trade Center towers this September 11th, 2010 – ten years to the day after a terrorist attack destroyed the towers, killing nearly 3,000 people.
The memorial occupies approximately half of the 16-acre site, it features two waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the foundation of the twin towers. The names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 terrorist attacks will be inscribed on bronze panels lining the two pools.
Gallivan, a career law enforcement professional, described the special regard he holds for the firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel who gave their lives that day. “Having spent my life as a first responder and public safety professional -- first as a New York State Trooper and later as the Sheriff of Erie County -- I can attest that these men and women displayed a level of bravery and sacrifice on the morning of September 11th that will never be matched. Today we ensure that they, and all the victims of 9-11, will never be forgotten.”
Gallivan was joined in New York City by his wife, Mary Pat, his Chief of Staff A.J. Baynes, and the Baynes Family of Williamsville, NY. Eileen Baynes was one of a few hundred selected to read the names of the deceased during the ceremony. Her brother, Christopher Lunder, died September 11th, 2001 while working in the World Trade Center at the time of the attack.