Next Wednesday, May 30, will mark the ten-year anniversary of the official end of the cleanup at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In commemoration, Mayor Bloomberg has announced a gathering of rescue and recovery workers at the 9/11 Memorial for a day of tribute and remembrance.
In the wake of the 2,983 victims of September 11 who perished, the city’s firefighters, police officers, construction workers and volunteers flocked to the scene in an effort to salvage lives, and later to help rebuild the site where one of New York’s most iconic destinations stood.
The recovery mission lasted eight and a half months and ended with the removal of the “Last Column,” a steel beam covered in tributes to those who passed.
The anniversary event was announced on May 15 by Mayor Bloomberg, who acts as the chairman of the 9/11 Memorial, and the Memorial’s president, Joe Daniels. Whereas the city’s ceremony on the 10th anniversary of the attacks last fall was only open to victims’ family members, next week’s proceedings will welcome all rescue, recovery and relief workers and their guests.
In his announcement, Bloomberg stated that the workers’ efforts were “nothing short of heroic,” adding, “New Yorkers and men and women from across the country came to our aid when we needed it most, and we will always be grateful. This event will allow us to honor the sacrifice made by so many.”
“Our gratitude cannot equal the sacrifices of these men and women,” echoed Daniels, “but it will be an honor to thank them on the 10-year anniversary of the end of their remarkable efforts.”
The 9/11 Memorial is located where the Twin Towers formerly stood. It aims to be a source of comfort for the friends and family of those lost, injured and afflicted with illness on that tragic day, as well as all Americans and citizens of the world wishing to grieve or pay their respects. Memorial’s curators believe that the story of those involved in the recovery efforts is an essential aspect of history that must be preserved.
Along with thousands of FDNY members, Department of Sanitation workers help clear more than a million tons of debris from the World Trade Center site and transporting it to the former Fresh Kills landfill for examination by law enforcement authorities.
“Ten years ago, as a nation we all witnessed firsthand the evil that exists in this world, but more importantly we all witnessed the good, and the sacrifice of so many great Americans,” stated John Feal, founder and president of the Feal Good Foundation, a non-profit organization advocating for 9/11 healthcare for recovery workers and first responders. “To recognize and honor those lost and those sick from their heroic actions is simply a gesture of great proportions, and is truly humbling. I stand behind the Mayor and Mr. Daniels in full support and endorse this event that will honor not one, but thousands of heroes.”
For more information on the anniversary event and the 9/11 Memorial, visit 911memorial.org.