U.S. Navy photo by JO1 Preston Keres

Moved by the Spirit of Unity

deputy chief of staff to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, I was reminded by the September 11 events of the terrible shock and loss following the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103.
      In both cases, hopeful futures were shattered by senseless terrorist attacks. In both cases, many people suffered the deep personal loss of a loved one.
      Working in my office the morning of the attack, I saw the destruction unfold before my eyes—the World Trade Center stood just two blocks from City Hall. We were evacuated from City Hall after both towers collapsed, and amid the confusion I had one mission—to make sure that my daughter, Mary Ashley, was safe.
      The spirit of unity that emerged in the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy has been inspiring. There is shared grief, and a shared resolve to rebuild. Amid the sadness there is also a renewed appreciation for life.

      The mayor has set an extraordinary personal example of courage. He met every challenge of that day, and since, with uncommon grace under pressure and truly admirable focus and determination. Working as closely as we do with the fire department and the police department, all of us in City Hall have lost friends—exceptionally brave individuals who were so heroic in the course of their daily lives that it felt as though they could never be taken away from us.
      Working at the Emergency Command Center in the days since the attack has been a blessing because it provides a constructive outlet for the feelings of outrage and loss. To work among friends, and to feel a deep sense of purpose every day, is perhaps the best way to deal with what has occurred. New Yorkers are resilient, and now more than ever I believe that this is the greatest city in the world.

—Julie Lefkowitz Mendik ’89

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Main Home Page Contents Chancellor's Message Opening Remarks
Reflections In Memoriam Time of Terror Lessons of Hope
Future Impact Voices

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