The memories of September 11, although always on my mind, become so vivid each year on the anniversary. And last week was no different. Standing this past Thursday on the 69th Street Pier, as I did on that horrible day, looking at the gleaming Freedom Tower, the new building fades away as I think of the Towers burning and then collapsing 13 years ago. We ask that all Americans remember 9/11, but frankly I cannot imagine how any adult New Yorker who lived through 9/11 could ever forget.
Each year I have reprinted a few words entitled “Remember the Heroes, September 11, 2001” that appeared on a card distributed in our community. The card has an image of the towers with the silhouettes of a policeman and a firefighter imposed in black upon the photo. It reads as follows:
“Our hearts are heavy with sorrow for the loss of so many innocent lives
Due to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001
We will never forget the supreme dedication of our Fire, Police and Emergency Services
Professionals. Their courageous efforts saved countless lives.
Heroes all, many made the ultimate sacrifice.
We salute the efforts of our volunteers who selflessly gave their time and
Energy during the most harrowing hours our City has ever faced.
Our spirit remains unbroken. Our strength renewed.
United we will rebuild and move forward.”
* * *
After months of campaigning and large amounts of campaign dollars, the end result of last Tuesday’s primaries in Brooklyn was pretty much the status quo. Democrat John Sampson, despite a multi-count indictment, won his primary with the strong support of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Assemblymember Felix Ortiz literally destroyed his far left opponent even though he had the solid backing of the community’s new councilmember.
On the Republican side, Stamatis Lilikakis easily defeated perennial candidate Lucretia Regina-Potter in the 46th Assembly District. I guess, considering that Regina-Potter is the Republican district leader, Republicans will consider Lilikakis’s victory a sign that she has lost the support of the rank-and-file party members in the district.
The bigger news centered around Governor Cuomo and his hand-picked candidate for lieutenant governor losing a couple of Assembly districts in Brooklyn and a number around the city. And to add insult to injury, the governor lost many counties throughout the state with a final total of around 60 percent of the vote. Just a month earlier such a result would have been thought unimaginable.
The governor said he was “happy, happy, happy with the results.” I think not. Then again, what else is he going to say? Hopefully, it has not been lost on him that his less-than-ideal showing is at least in part due to terrible advice he was given by an arrogant campaign staff who simply wanted to ignore his opponent’s very existence – even when she was standing in front of him. He looked foolish and frankly small, and I dare say, non-presidential.