Members of the Port Authority lost during the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were remembered Thursday at an interfaith service in Manhattan.
Vice President Dick Cheney, who did not speak at the service, joined Senator Hillary Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki and New Jersey Governor McGreevey in honoring the victims at Riverside Church. The Port Authority lost 84 employees on September 11: 37 uniformed officers and 47 civilian employees.
The two men who share responsibility for the P.A. vowed never to forget the actions of the workers who were lost.
"No one knew the passageways and escape routes of the twin towers better than the Port Authority officers who patrolled them and the civilian employees who managed them, so instead of running down to save their own lives, they stayed behind to save the lives of others, escorting people through the stairwells, and leading police, firefighters and other rescue workers to various rescue entrances and exits,” said the governor. “They helped the young, the old, and those with disabilities. They did all they could to guide others to safety before thinking of themselves."
“No matter how hard we try, words simply cannot express the horror, the shock, the revulsion of what we felt and what took place on that Tuesday morning,” said McGreevey.
“Some choose to avenge our losses with action and activism, pounding our sadness into issues that might make a difference in everyone's lives,” said Christy Ferer Levin, the wife of P.A. Executive Director Neil Levin, who died in the 9/11 attacks. “For others the second anniversary can be a catalyst to try to extricate ourselves from the paralysis of grief and to diffuse negative energy.”
The names of all 84 victims were read aloud during the ceremony, as were the names of those employees killed during the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.
Flags at all P.A. facilities were also flown at half staff this week.