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Remembering those who Died on 9-11

Irv Miljoner, of the US Department of Labor, remembers those who died while working on 9-11 and reflects on how these tragedies bring us together as Americans

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Sep 11, 2017

Even as we reel from the natural disasters in Texas and Florida, we continue to deal with the man-made disasters. Today there are ceremonies taking place, in NY, DC, PA and elsewhere around the country, in remembrance of the nearly 3000 who were killed in the worst terrorist attack on America to date.  Even at work, we remember 9-11.

Today in NY, at Ground Zero, the annual ceremony included moments of silence at the times when the planes struck each of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and when they fell. The ceremony is at the grounds of the 9-11 Memorial, and in the shadow of the newly built Freedom Tower, now the tallest building in our nation, and a testament to American recovery and resolve.  The heart of the ceremony are family members reading all the names of those who perished.

In NY alone, over 400 emergency responders died on 9-11-2001, including

  • NYC Firefighters and Fire Dept. Paramedics killed: 343
  • Port Authority police officers killed: 37
  • NYC Police Department officers killed: 23
  • Private EMTs and other paramedics killed: 8

This is personal for many of us.  496 Long Island residents were killed on 9/11/2001. Their profiles and stories can be seen at this website.

Many more of us throughout the NY area know survivors, along with friends and families of those killed.

Our colleagues and co-workers were also affected in ways they’ll never forget.  Employees at the federal buildings at Federal Plaza and Varick Street, looked out their building windows to see the horror of the planes hitting, and people jumping to their deaths, and then the towers falling.

It’s really personal for all Americans, as this was an attack on our society, and no one should forget… We remain a target for terrorists.

Most of the thousands killed that day were Americans at work.

We at the Labor Department are especially attuned to that, with our stated mission to protect and serve the American workforce, and all in the employment communities.  Continuing the significant public service work we do, is one effective response to the terrorists’ attempts to disrupt our society. 

Please…  never forget to remember and honor all those killed, and all those still suffering.

One positive lesson we’ve learned from 9-11, and one being reinforced as we deal with the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – Americans can and do come together in moments of crisis.  We are here for each other.

To many, it all feels the same every 9-11.  We again remember and share stories of where we were, who we knew, and what we did when the terror attacks occurred on 9-11-2001.   But every year is different and new, especially this year, as we concurrently deal with Harvey and Irma.

Every year heroes come into our lives, and every year we lose heroes. This is a year of overwhelming loss. Thanks for taking the time. Take care, and take care of others.

This editorial was written by Irv Miljoner, District Director at the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage Hour Divison, Long Island District Office and National VP of the Federal Labor Managers Association.

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