On the 20th Anniversary of the attacks on America, the JFK Airport community came together to unveil a long awaited memorial to those who perished that fateful day. It was a labor of love and respect taken on by many individuals and organizations. The JFK Chamber of Commerce, the Port Authority, Columbia Association of CBP and many others have worked relentlessly to make this happen. The monument has a permanent home in front of the Port Authority Administration Building 14 at JFK International Airport. It pays respect to the lives of the Port Authority Police, Port Authority Civilian staff, United Airlines and American Airlines crews that were taken that day by terrorists. It is a beautiful place to sit, reflect and remember those lost and the legacy of the lives they lived.
Following the unveiling, the annual Memorial Service began, led by JFK Chamber President Al Dephillips and Deputy Director of Aviation and General Manager of JFK International Airport, Charles Everrett.
It was a solemn ceremony with our faith leaders, community leaders and the colleagues of those who were lost. The names of the PA Police and Civilian and American and United Airlines crews that perished during the attacks were read in remembrance.
The Pipe and Drum band from St. Anthony’s High School provided a solemn rendition of Amazing Grace at the mark of 8:46, the time the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Eva Boyce Leonard from the PANYNJ Admin office sang the Star Spangled Banner and Gold Bless America.
The Key Note Speaker was Frank DiMola, Executive Director, Terminal 4 Airlines Consortium John F. Kennedy International Airport. Mr. DiMola was the Assistant Aviation Director working in the World Trade Center that day. He walked us through the first 2 hours of his morning that day, from the routine to the unthinkable. He spoke about finding leadership, bravery and self-sacrifice in the actions of his co-workers. He was part of saving so many through his swift actions and the group of fire fighters and PAPD police leadership he banded with ensuring evacuation of anyone they came across. Many he saw that day did not make it out of the towers. He keeps their legacy, sacrifice and heroism alive through his willingness to share his story.
We continue to reflect not only on the many people that died that day, but all those who have been forever changed through their loss. We remember those who ran towards the chaos and gave their lives in service to others and those who have died from 9/11 related sickness in the past 20 years and will in the years to come.
May we continue to heal as a nation, as a community, a friend, loved one or a colleague while honoring the courage of all the lives lost, families impacted and heroes made now and forever.