We Shall Never Forget

Western Queens Gazette - September 06, 2017

by Western Queens Gazette

Sixteen years later, we look back at one of the saddest chapters in our history, the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93, the hijacked flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. The first heroes of the terrible attacks were the passengers of Flight 93, who prevented a third attack on who knows what other unsuspecting victims. The attacks that brought down our own Twin Towers was a hideous sneak attack on innocent people, who posed no threat to anyone as they quietly went about their business, earning a living for their families.

We shall never forget all who left us too soon and so unfairly, those who perished in the attack and the many first responders who also became casualties. Instead of running for cover, the first responders of the FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey headed straight into danger – not even knowing if there would be further attacks – in order to rescue and search out those trapped under rubble, and in doing so they risked, and in many cases lost, their own lives.

There are no traces left of the Twin Towers, nor even of the damage wrought, and we instead have erected the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Flight 93 National Memorial, and One World Trade Center, the “Freedom Tower,” erected and opened in 2014, at a height of 1,776 feet, the symbolic number of our free country. In addition, every year people hold memorial services of all sizes and kinds, each remembering their losses in their own ways. Two very heartfelt annual services being held nearby are the United Community Civic Association’s annual “9/11 Memorial Candlelight Ceremony” being held tonight, September 6, at 7:30 pm at McManus Memorial Park; and St. Michael’s Cemetery will hold their annual 9/11 commemoration ceremony on Saturday, September 9, at 2 pm, during which the community will participate in a memorial service honoring the first responders who died as a result of working on “the pile” in the aftermath of the collapse of the Twin Towers.

All the precious lives lost due to that terrible day shall be remembered by us always. We offer the best thing we can, in their memory, and that is to determinedly continue the proud and brave traditions of this free, open and democratic land. We offer refuge to those that would seek freedom of expression and to honestly build a life for themselves and their families. We uphold our ideals and will not degenerate into a craven, repressed and restrictive country, for we know what has in the past made this country great and intend to continue those powerful traditions.