2001-10-06 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Chatting With Chapey by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani addressed the UN Conference on Eliminating Terrorism. He noted that New York is the most diverse city in the world. He told the UN representatives that each of their countries has people living in our city who have become American citizens.

Mayor Giuliani stressed that the World Trade Center attack was the most deadly terrorist attack in history. He clearly stated that there is no moral way to sympathize with immoral acts. He noted that the UN stands for the proposition that people have more in common than in our differences. The citizens of New York are made up of every race, religion and ethnicity. These differences renew each of us and make us vibrant.

Mayor Giuliani received a standing ovation from those who were assembled last week at the Gateway National Park ceremonies of remembrance at Fort Tilden. Giuliani stated that our entire country has sustained a terrible loss. Giuliani has been in the Rockaways many times over his last eight years in office.  He understands that our community is committed to hard work and service.  

In our mourning, we must remember that the men and women and their extended families in our community are working hard to raise good children. Our community raises families that work hard. Our tears are tears of strength. Now as a city, state and a nation we must work together to defend our freedom.

Mayor Giuliani pointed out that he gets his strength from people. He complimented and applauded this generation for its strength. He complimented President George Bush for his leadership in this crisis. He remarked that as Americans we have never been so united.

Peter Vallone also addressed the Fort Tilden group and captured the spirit of our tragedy and our times. He related two important incidents that show the courage of our citizens. He talked personally about Fr. Judge - a priest he knew and loved who lost his life in the World Trade Center tragedy.

Mr. William Garrett, the director of Gateway National Park, at Fort Tilden looked at the Rockaways as the place where the city meets the sea. He noted that each time we look across the sea to the Manhattan skyline we would have an image of the World Trade Center tragedy that will be frozen in time. He reminded us that Jacob Riis Park is named for a person who made New York a better city. He offered Gateway National Park as a safe haven where people can come alone or together to grieve and hope.  He quoted Psalm 46 - "God us Our Refuge".

Senator Chuck Schumer complimented Mayor Giuliani for leading our city in strength.  He pointed out the enormity of what happened to the brave and dedicated individuals who gave their lives and their families.

There are so many instances of bravery and of New Yorkers reaching out to help their neighbors. He particularly noted the brave, selfless giving of our fire fighters, police officers and Port Authority police. They have been our heroes. They are world heroes.

Schumer pointed out that the Rockaways is the kind of community that breeds heroes. Our community exemplifies courage and teamwork. Schumer also expressed the thoughts of most of those assembled when he said that the terrorists violated us. They are cowards. Their targets are innocent men, women and children. He stressed that the death of our loved ones will not have been in vain.

Monsignor Martin Geraghty, Rabbi Reiner and Fr. Kulinane gave us words of inspiration and hope. They are praying for our fallen heroes and their families. We must stand together and gain strength from our family, friends and neighbors.

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