Sixteen years later, Brooklyn continues to honor the heroes that died on September 11, 2001.
On the morning of Thursday, September 7 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Borough President Eric Adams hosted his third annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. September 11 victims and families, first responders and others attended the emotional event that honored the fallen and unveiled a banner on the steps of Borough Hall that includes the name of all 266 Brooklyn residents who died on the day.
“I’ll never forget that day. Many of us for a moment wanted to find answers to the questions of what would happen in the future,” said Adams. “But then 9/12 came and teachers taught, firefighters put out fires, bus drivers drove buses, and families went on. The terrorists lost and we won. We continue to show what makes us great.”
Joining Adams were keynote speakers NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, as well as NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, U.S. Army Colonel Peter Sicoli and FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard.
The event featured interfaith prayer, readings and tributes by surviving family members, and selections performed by the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
There were also two moments of silence, one for the time each building collapsed.
“The entire country was watching to see the response of New Yorkers and how to move on in the spite of fear and danger. A large number of first responders and everyday citizens were lost but we continue to move forward and thrive and from our energy, people realize that America is great not because of structures or buildings,” Adams contended. “We are one. It matters that we all come from one central source and we’re together as one. What impacts you, impacts us all.”
Adams presented a check to the Leon W. Smith Jr. Foundation, named after firefighter Leon W. Smith, Jr., who tragically lost his life saving others on that fateful day.
His family was in attendance. “I had to make sure Leon was never forgotten,” said Smith’s mother, who had the block she lives on co-named in his memory. “I wanted the world to know he was a firefighter. I wanted the world to know he gave up his life so others could live.”