From The Mayor’s Desk...
From The Mayor’s Desk...
Six Months Later
We recently marked the six-month commemoration of the September 11th terrorist attack. It was a very somber occasion. More than 2,800 people were taken from us that day. They were our loved ones, our friends, our co-workers, and our colleagues, and were among the best and brightest in our city. We still feel their loss strongly, and we always will.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on our city, New Yorkers have pulled together, determined to recover and rebuild. The rest of the nation is reaching out to help us with this immense task.
On March 7, I proudly stood beside President George W. Bush in the White House Rose Garden, as he made good on his commitment to provide $20 billion in Federal aid to New York City. The President has been true to his word to New Yorkers, even adding an additional $1.5 billion to this proposed aid package. I am confident that Congress will follow his lead and approve these emergency funds to help our City rebuild from the attack on the World Trade Center.
Both Democrats and Republicans, including Governor George Pataki, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and New York’s Congressional delegation, led by Congressman Charles Rangel, all took part in this historic announcement. That was as it should be. Revitalizing New York City has been a cooperative, bipartisan effort involving every level of government, as well as business, labor and eight million of the finest people in the world - the people of New York City.
The important steps we’ve taken together have been nothing short of remarkable and, last week, the Governor and I presented a progress report on the efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan. There are many accomplishments of which we should all be proud, including the completion of a new temporary roadway for the West Side Highway by April 1st, allowing us to reopen the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to normal traffic. It is also important to note that seven of the eleven subway stations that the City was forced to close after September 11th have been reopened, and that three more will be open by the fall. Bus service in the area has been restored to normal, and ferry service has been vastly expanded.
The pace of business activity is also picking up quickly throughout Lower Manhattan. A few weeks ago, the downtown department store, Century 21, reopened its doors. The ribbons have been cut for two new hotels downtown, and a third will open in a few months.
One of New York City’s most dramatic accomplishments is how the clean-up of the former World Trade Center site has proceeded. The job is well ahead of schedule and under budget, and has been undertaken without any serious work-related injuries. That is an extraordinary achievement considering the number of workers and the amount of heavy equipment involved in that project.
On Monday, we dedicated temporary memorials near the World Trade Center site. The two memorials are very different from each other, but each will aid New York City in its efforts to commemorate the tragedy of September 11. The "Tribute in Light," two luminous spires projected into the evening sky, symbolizes the courage of America and the resilience of New York City. The other, a sculpture called "The Sphere," that once graced the plaza of the World Trade Center, has been placed in historic Battery Park next to the Hope Garden to offer a place for reflection and calm in which to remember the people we lost.
The process of creating a fitting permanent memorial will take some time. But one of the best ways to honor the memory of the victims is to do what they would have done: rebuild, recover and renew our commitment to making New York City stronger and more united than ever before. That’s exactly what we will do. It’s what we are doing right now. It’s what New Yorkers have always done.p