9/11 Remembrance underscores value of service, sacrifice and love
NYPD Leaders Bratton and O’Neill Among the Speakers
Sacrifice, service and love were the recurring themes discussed at Borough Hall’s second annual 9/11 Remembrance Service that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams hosted on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The keynote speaker for the program, which was held a few days before the actual 15th anniversary of the tragedy, was outgoing NYPD Commissioner William Bratton. Joining him were other NYPD leaders, including James P. O’Neill, NYPD’s chief of department, who will be succeeding Bratton later this year; Benjamin Tucker, first deputy commissioner of the NYPD; FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro; and Col. Peter Sicoli, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton.
Each speaker reflected on the unfolding events of Sept. 11, 2001 and expressed how haunted they remain by the image of planes flying through clear blue skies over the New York skyline. Bratton said that in the wake of the tragedy, the men and women of the NYPD and other branches of safety personnel continue serving. “It’s what we do,” he declared.
Likewise, Dr. Rabbi Alvin Kass, chief NYPD chaplain, who led the opening invocation, said that love is the thread that binds people together.
Family members of two of the Sept. 11 victims spoke in detail about the last time they got to speak with their loved ones. Vernon A. Richard, II, son of the late FDNY Capt. Vernon Richard, described the special bond he had with his father. Evelyn Zelmanowitz, family member of the late Abe Zelmanowitz, recounted in detail the series of events taking place on 9/11 as Abe tried to evacuate the Twin Towers.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro saluted the memory of the first-responders and rescue personnel and all of those who died after 9/11, of illnesses caused by exposure to the toxins in the Ground Zero debris.
Moments of silence were observed for the times of the South Tower and North Tower collapses, respectively. The flags atop the Borough Hall Rotunda were lowered and the families present placed a Remembrance Wreath next to the podium.
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