by the Spirit of Unity
AS A SYRACUSE GRADUATE NOW WORKING AS
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,
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.
Lefkowitz Mendik ’89