On 9/11 anniversary, memories, tears and defiant words

Flowers left at the 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center for Robert Clinton Kennedy, 55. A senior vice president at Marsh & McClennan, he was working on the 100th floor of the North Tower when the first plane hit on Sept. 11, 2001. (Photo by Milo Hess)

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | On another mild, blue-sky day, just as that fateful morning 18 years ago, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack was marked in a solemn ceremony at the World Trade Center.

There were moments of silence and the tolling of bells to commemorate the times that the first jet and then the second slammed into the Twin Towers, and again for when each enormous building bell.

Firefighters who lost their lives responding to the World Trade Center disaster — 343 in all — are listed in separate section of the memorial. (Photo by Milo Hess)

More than 2,600 people — including 343 firefighters — were killed in the W.T.C. and surrounding area. Including the third hijacked plan that crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the fourth that was downed, after passengers fought back, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, a total of 3,000 people perished.

Following the annual tradition, at the memorial event, family members read the names of the victims in bunches. But a few deviated from the script this year to offer personal remarks.

(Photo by Milo Hess)

One of them, Nicholas Haros, Jr., whose mother died in the attack, called out freshman Congressmember Ilhan Omar for describing the attacks as “some people did something.”

He sported a black T-shirt with “SOME PEOPLE DID SOMETHING?” written on it in large white italic letters.

The Tribute in Light once again shone to the sky on Sept. 10. (Photo by Milo Hess)

Getting shots of the Tribute in Light on Sept. 10. (Photo by Milo Hess)

“Today I am here to respond to you exactly who did what to whom,” he said, addressing his remarks to Omar, who, along with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, is a member of “The Squad.”

“Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done,” he said. “There is no uncertainty about that. … On that day, 19 Islamic terrorist members of al Qaeda killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage.”

The firehouse on Liberty St., directly south of the World Trade Center, lost five men on 9/11. (Photo by Milo Hess)

The New York Post reported that it wasn’t the first time Haros has used the ceremony to make a statement. Last year, he blasted elected officials for using the 9/11 terror victims as “props for your political theater.”

Bleecker St. resident Charles Wolf, who lost his wife in the W.T.C. attack, appeared on “Fox & Friends First” in the morning to talk about 9/11 and his thoughts about today’s political situation.

Wolf was part of the former Family Advisory Council that nudged along the rebuilding process and gave constant input to ensure things the families felt were important were included in the plans. He said he saw George Pataki on Wednesday and the former governor gave him a big hug, which Wolf — a “socially liberal Republican” who likes Pataki personally — really enjoyed.

Wolf also saw Michael Arad, who designed the 9/11 memorial, with its twin pools, and was overcome with emotion.

“I spoke with Michael Arad and I was crying,” he said. “I was really, really crying. He’s a good man.”

The Village activist said that, over these past two weeks, a lot of emotions have come up related to 9/11 and his wife’s loss. This anniversary was no easier for him than the rest.

“It’s a good day,” he said, “but it’s a hard day.”

2 Responses to On 9/11 anniversary, memories, tears and defiant words

  1. Arad may be a good man but that is irrelevant. His memorial denies the attacks and tells visitors nothing happened here they need confront. By design it does not acknowledge the attacks – as it was praised for by critics. He refused to allow any authentic artifacts of the WTC, such as the steel remnants of the towers or the iconic Koenig Sphere. Because as direct reminders of the attacks they would infringe upon the integrity of the memorial. Visitors to the site must, Arad has said, be allowed to think about 9/11 “or not.” Imagine if we applied this “reasoning” to other sites: let’s remove the USS Arizona from the memorial at Pearl Harbor? So visitors are not immediately reminded of the Japanese attack? At Auschwitz we eliminated the camp real and replaced with some esoteric design speaking to “absence.” So visitors could think about the Holocaust “or not?” Would we ever do that? Absolutely not. Yet that is exactly what we did at the WTC, the site of the worst attack upon America. The 13 member jury intentionally chose Arad’s design in an attempt to wipe out the authentic memory of the attacks from the national consciousness.

  2. Well said, Mr. Burke.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *