2005-09-07 / Editorials

Remembering And Rebuilding Honor The Dead Of 9/11

On a bright, clear September morning four years ago, New York City, aong witht he rest of the country, was changed fundamentally and forever. On that morning, two jetliners were hijacked by terrorists and flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Another hijacked aircraft was flown into the Pentagon. The struggle between hijackers and passengers for control of one more plane, ended when the passengers engendered the aircraft’s crash into a field near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania rather than allow the hijackers to crash it into the Capitol or the White House, both believed to be probable targets. The towers collapsed, the Pentagon sustained serious damage and the three incidents resulted in the deaths of more than 3.500 people.

Four years later the pain still lingers. We will carry the memories and the wounds for the rest of our lives. Recovery from a blow such as the one New York City received on 9/11 is a process, not an act, and will proceed at its own pace. Remembrance rituals are part of that process and many will be taking place in the coming week; we urge those of our readers who feel so inclined to join in whichever ones they find most sustaining and comforting. This Saturday, the 76 firefighters from Queens who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11 will be remembered in the second annual memorial service to be held at St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst. The United Community Civic Association will hold its candlelight vigil at McManus Memorial Park on Monday night. Vigils, concerts and services will be held all over the borough ad the city and we urge our readers to attend and participate. The ceremonies meet a wide and varying number of criteria for remembrances both general and specific and do much to help us accept and manage our grief.

However slowly we feel the recovery and rebuilding may be progressing, we can still find reasons to be proud of ourselves and our fellow New Yorkers. Plans for rebuilding continue and New Yorkers, especially those who lost loved ones on 9/11, are encouraged to make their voices heard. Better yet, we honor the memory of the fallen in ways that aid the living—through scholarships in memory of the dead, in improvements in anticipating and preparing for other catastrophes, in sharing our knowledge with other cities which find themselves at the battle lines of the war on terrorism that came home to us at Ground Zero four years ago.

We will continue to remember our loved dead. What’s more, we will honor them by rebuilding our city and combating the forces of evil wherever and in whatever form they may appear. There can be no finer tribute to the lost than we, the living, continuing to survive and prevail.

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