Remarks of Mayor David L. Ganz at Borough Council Meeting, September 10, 2002
Good evening. Just a year ago tomorrow was a day of infamy. Just as my generation knew where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated, and my father's generation recalled where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked, a whole new generation and two older ones will never forget where we were when we learned of the horrific carnage of last September 11.
I spoke from this podium two days later and told you that "terrorists declared war on America. They have attacked us just as surely as a foreign power did on December 7, 1941. In the face of this unparalleled assault, we know that there will be casualties right here in our community, and indeed, throughout Bergen County."
This evening, we pause from our everyday lives to reflect on the events of last September. Some of us will want to speak about the people whom we knew who perished when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, and four airplanes senselessly hijacked. Others of us will want to recall, with awe and gratitude, the response of our emergency volunteers who helped to save lives. Still others will no doubt offer personal reflection. I encourage all of this, because it is part of a national self-healing process.
Last year, I spoke of the pride that all of us have, as Fair Lawn residents, for the generosity of our volunteers, who immediately went to Ground Zero and the surrounding area. Our Heavy Rescue and Hazmat went right into Manhattan. Our own O.E.M. coordinator, Tom Metzler, saved lives by ordering a pull back before the secondary building collapse. Ambulance corps members and fire department personnel were at the Liberty State Park triage center.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that each of them gave, of their time, their effort, and their disregard for their personal circumstances and safety.
Last year, in a community worship service, Father Ron Pecce of St. Ann's Parish spoke in his homily of the people who did the awful deeds as being pure Evil. They truly were and are but as I said last year, and as I reiterate this evening, as long as Fair Lawn can come together as a community as long as we can come together as a nation they shall never win.
This is an unusual meeting of our Council. It is being conducted for the specific purpose, and with the specific topic, of the events of last September 11 and placing them in perspective. All other business is being postponed for a week. I will now ask our several Council members for their comments. At the conclusion, before we open up the floor to public comments which we invite I would like to ask for a moment of silence in memory of those who are no more.
When we rise, for that moment of silence, I ask that you reflect on those whom we lost, but also on the values that we gained. American Democracy indeed has been on trial. We have won.
I would like to rmeind you that tomorrow night we have a calendaite vigil here at Boro Hall, on the steps outside, led by our Boro's interfaith clergy at 8 p.m.
I now call on Deputy Mayor Etler for his remarks, to be followed by Councilmembers Amato and Caan and then Deputy Mayor Weinstein. Deputy Mayor Etler.
(September 8, 2002)