NYS Seal For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 18, 2002

Remarks By Speaker Sheldon Silver As NYS Museum Receives WTC Engine Co. #6 Fire Truck


Thank you, Commissioner Mills.

Governor Pataki. Senator Bruno. Chancellor Hayden. General Maguire. Members of Engine Company #6. Distinguished Guests.

Fortunately for the vast majority of Americans, their experience of September Eleventh unfolded on their television sets.

For me - living less than a mile from Ground Zero - my experience of September Eleventh and the days and weeks that followed was far more real, far more terrible than any film clip could ever portray.

As unforgettable as my experience is and will always be, I cannot fathom what the crew of Engine Company Number Six - and their brothers and sisters in firefighting, law enforcement and emergency services - endured on that heartbreaking day, and continue to endure to this day.

So, I commend Governor Pataki, Commissioner Mills, Chancellor Hayden, Officials and Staff of our wonderful State Museum, and the City of New York, for making possible the exhibition of this great symbol of valor.

And I thank the crew of Engine Company Number Six - to whom this vehicle means so much more, for sharing this pumper truck with the world so that all can come to see it and gain a deeper, richer sense of September Eleventh and its place in our American heritage.

People will come to experience the power of this exhibit just as they come by the thousands to Lower Manhattan to experience Ground Zero and the Downtown area.

They will come for a variety of reasons.

But what they will find and take away with them is the comfort and assurance of knowing that in this uncertain world, in our darkest moments, stars do indeed appear; stars who are heroes; heroes who fight for us, heroes who die for us, heroes who carry us through crisis and catastrophe.

And when they see this truck, what they have always known and always taken for granted, will be awakened in their minds and in their hearts forever:

That these heroes are real people with families and homes and dreams for the future; men and women of extraordinary dignity, honor, and courage who are standing at the ready to fight that fight, and accept those life-threatening risks for us, minute to minute, day to day.

Hopefully, as they contemplate what they have seen, not only will they be grateful, hopefully they will come away with the realization that the firefighters, police officers and emergency services crews who gave their lives on September Eleventh did not become heroes on September Eleventh.

But rather, that they became heroes the moment they decided to serve all of us, and put on the uniform of their chosen profession.

To the crew of Engine Company Number Six - and to all of the September Eleventh rescuers - I thank you for shining so brightly in what was truly our darkest moment.

We owe you a debt of gratitude that we can never repay, and one I assure you, we will never forget that we owe.

Thank you.

New York State Assembly
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