Albany, NY (September 6, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum today unveiled the official New York State September 11th Memorial Flag. The flag will be raised in honor of the victims of September 11th and the countless first responders who came from all across the nation to help in the clean-up and recovery efforts.
For the tenth anniversary, the flag will be flown at the State Capitol and at the entrance to the memorial at the World Trade Center site.
"The Memorial Flag is meant to serve as a long-lasting symbol of our respect for those who were lost on September 11th and our resilience in the face of tragedy," Governor Cuomo said. "Written on the flag are the words 'We Remember' – we remember the faces, the stories, and the heroes of that day and this flag reminds us to always pass on those memories to future generations."
Joe Daniels, President of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, said, "All of us at the Memorial are grateful for Governor Cuomo's dedication to helping commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and today's announcement is another example of this commitment. The flag will serve as a symbol of our resilience in the wake of unimaginable events. This tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attacks also reminds us of the indomitable spirit of New Yorkers that endured that terrible day and in the years since."
The symbols on the flag evoke what was lost on September 11th and what still endures. The 40 yellow stars represent the fatalities from United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The five-sided figures represent the Pentagon, where 125 people died. At the center of the flag are the Twin Towers, where the greatest loss of life occurred that day.
To view the 9/11 memorial flag, go to http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/nyremembersflag.pdf. The Governor has signed a proclamation calling for the 9/11 memorial flag to fly at the Capitol the week before September 11th.
The National September 11 Memorial and Museum will also sell replicas of the flag in order to raise funds for the museum as well as to bolster educational programs. The flag will be available on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum website www.911memorial.org/911flag.
Lee A. Ielpi, father of firefighter Jonathan Ielpi and President of the September 11th Families' Association, said, "Remembering 9/11 must include guidance for our teachers and students; as understanding the past shapes the actions of our young people, our future citizens. At the Tribute WTC Visitor Center the impact of what occurred is contained in our stories and artifacts. We, as the community affected, need to memorialize the loss but remain aware of our resilience to recover by helping each other, emphasizing the humanitarian spirit that permeates 9/11. By seeing this flag, it will make sure that generation after generation learns from the flag and will never forget what happened. September 11th is a global event that brought our world closer together."
Paula Berry, wife of David Berry and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "As the 9/11 memorial flag waves all across New York and the country, it will remind all who look upon it of the valuable lives taken from Americans ten years ago. Although our friends and family may never return to us, we must continue to celebrate their memory and lives."
Tom Rogér, father of Jean Rogér, an American Airlines Flight 11 Flight Attendant killed on September 11, 2001, and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "The tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks is a momentous occasion, reminding all New Yorkers and Americans of the painful events a decade ago. While the attacks still haunt families throughout the country, this year's anniversary exhibits can allow us to continue to heal. We will never forget those we lost, and we are glad to have a national symbol and flag to represent their memory."
Rose Marie Foti, mother of Robert Joseph Foti, Firefighter, Ladder 7, said, "On September 11, 2001, countless families lost fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. And for ten years, families like ours across the country looked to individual memorials and each other for some sense of comfort. This year, the 'New York Remembers' exhibits and the memorial flag will finally offer us a unified, comprehensive tribute to celebrate the memory of those we lost. I thank Governor Cuomo and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum for housing our 'family room' so people from across the country can understand what it meant to have that room and what it means to have it preserved today."
Charles G. Wolf, husband of Katherine Wolf, said, "Those who perished in the 9/11 attacks may be lost to us forever, but with these exhibits, the memory of our friends and family will continue to live on all across New York State. This flag commemorates all the victims from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the four airplanes, offering both healing, and a symbol of tribute for people who lost loved ones that fateful day. I thank Governor Cuomo for having commissioned this very meaningful flag."
Christine A. Ferer, wife of Executive Director of the Port Authority Neil Levin who died on 9/11, and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "Anything that is emblematic of that day is meaningful and it is very thoughtful to have dedicated this flag to anything that memorializes September 11th. The tenth anniversary is an opportunity to reunite once again."
Monika Iken Murphy, wife of Michael Iken, and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "I am so proud to see this world class memorial and museum come into fruition after ten years of working on it. This flag would be representative of this significant ten year marker and in honor of those we lost."
Anthoula Katsimatides, sister of John Katsimatides, and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "I am so pleased that Governor Cuomo is introducing the 9/11 Memorial Flag to the public. It is fitting that it should now take its proper place downtown at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and also fly nationally as a continuing symbol of honor and remembrance."
Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon, and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "I love the idea for this flag, and it should continue to fly as long as one American serviceman is deployed in harm's way, fighting Islamic extremism and defending liberty. The flag is beautifully designed, remembering all those who died on 9/11, but also honoring the spirit of the American people, who responded to the attacks with courage, compassion and moral clarity."
David Beamer, father of Todd Beamer and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "This flag serves as a fitting reminder of the horrific attack. May it call to mind that day and also those who, each day, are sacrificing to preserve our freedom. Forget not, our enemy is real and persistent."
Virginia S. Bauer, wife of W. David Bauer and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "The most fitting tribute to those who perished on 9/11 is to memorialize them showing the best of the American spirit. The country came together and we faced our struggles in unity and compassion for one another. The 9/11 flag is a universal symbol to the world of the strength and resilience of our Country. I am grateful for this enduring remembrance."
Howard W. Lutnick, brother of Gary Lutnick, and a board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "On 9/11, Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 priceless friends and employees among the nearly 3,000 fathers, mothers, children and other priceless loved ones who perished. They will always be in our hearts, and in the hearts of all who see this flag wave over New York."
Thomas Johnson, father of Scott S. Johnson, who died in the South Tower on September 11th, and board member of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "A flag is right, suggesting 9/11/01 is an important date in American history. The victims were mostly unwitting heroes, because they were engaging in the work of America--commerce, industry and public service--in iconic American settings. They were attacked precisely because of what America stands for, freedoms of every sort. There was never a doubt, but the rebuilding is the proper response to those who thought an evil attack could change America. It didn't, and we will be stronger than ever."
Salvatore Cassano, Fire Commissioner of the City of New York, said, "Firehouses across New York City suffered tremendously ten years ago on September 11. Every house lost a member, a friend, or a family member. Our firefighters will never forget what we lost that day, and this memorial flag will help ensure all Americans never forget that sacrifice. The flag will serve as a symbol of the FDNY's steadfast commitment to our communities and country, and exceptional service for all present and future firefighters to emulate."
Patrick J. Lynch, President of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said, "No one can be more selfless than the first-responders who answered to the September 11 attacks. They dove into the scenes of terror with no hesitation, and many traded their own lives to save countless others. On the tenth anniversary of their death, I am thankful for a lasting memorial and flag that brings our state and nation together to celebrate the memory of these heroes, and they are worthy of nothing less."
Steve Cassidy, President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York, said, "On September 11 New York City Firefighters, on and off-duty responded to the World Trade Center in record numbers. Their heroic actions as the disaster unfolded is a visual image seared into the memory of all Americans. On the tenth anniversary of these attacks, the memorial flag and exhibits will allow our nation to honor the commitment and sacrifice of all the first responders and volunteers who answered the call."
Paul Nunziato, President of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, said, "As we raise the memorial flag on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, I hope it will become a national symbol to immortalize the memory of first-responders who gave up their lives to help others. They are true role models for today's firefighters, police officers and public servants, and we should all strive to embody their dedication and courage. They shall never be forgotten."
Ed Mullins, President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD, said, "The firefighters, police officers and first-responders who succumbed in the September 11 attacks will never be forgotten by their colleagues, families and friends. They sacrificed themselves to save others, and they deserve the utmost honor. The 'New York Remembers' memorials will keep their tale of bravery alive, and I will look upon the memorial flag with pride. I thank the Governor and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum for their dedication to this project."
Alexander Hagan, President of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said, "The New York Fire Department was a force to be reckoned with on September 11, 2001. The officers and firefighters of the FDNY responded to the attacks with no hesitation, with only thoughts of saving those trapped in the rubble. Many of our colleagues never came out, sacrificing their own lives for others. The memorial flag will forever serve as a reminder of their heroic deeds in the face of terror. They were brave and selfless men and women, and role models for today's firefighters. We are thankful that their courage will always be remembered by the Cuomo Administration."
Patrick Bahnken, President of the Uniformed EMT's, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors FDNY, said, "Thousands of New York City EMTs, Paramedics, Police Officers, Firefighters and other first responders responded to save the lives of New Yorker's and others on September 11. 25,000 people were safely evacuated that morning. Many first responders died that day including 343 members of the FDNY. On the tenth anniversary of their deaths, the 'New York Remembers' exhibits and memorial flag give New Yorkers and all Americans the opportunity to pay homage to all the lives lost that terrible day."
Mark Schaming, Director of Exhibitions of the New York State Museum, said, "On September 11, 2001 the American flag flew with extraordinary importance. From today forward New Yorkers have a powerful and unifying emblem that will, for generations, remind us about the attacks and express America's powerful resilience."
Alice M. Greenwald, Director of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said, "The new 9/11 remembrance flag is another example of how the State of New York has proactively chosen to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in ways that are both meaningful and broadly inclusive. Along with the ambitious effort to place displays of September 11 artifacts in communities large and small across the state, this flag serves as both a symbol of our collective commitment never to forget what happened ten years ago and a realization of our unwavering promise to memorialize those we lost that day."
John King, Jr., New York State Education Commissioner, said, "The September 11 flag is a compelling symbol that can fly all over New York to assure that the day is always remembered."
On August 10, Governor Cuomo, the New York State Museum, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum announced the "New York Remembers" exhibitions in 30 locations across the state. The exhibitions will give New Yorkers a place to remember the victims of September 11th and honor the countless heroes who came from all corners of the state to help in the clean-up and recovery efforts. The exhibitions will feature historical artifacts from the collections of the State Museum and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
Each location will remain open until the end of September. All will be open on Sunday, September 11th.
Many of the artifacts being exhibited have never been seen by the public, including: the trailer used by families visiting Ground Zero that includes photographs and messages; damaged emergency vehicles and other vehicle parts; aluminum and glass from the buildings; religious "symbol steel" created by the workers at the site; and airplane fragments including landing gear and engine parts. The stories behind all the artifacts will be told as part of the exhibitions.
With more than 2,000 artifacts, the New York State Museum is the nation's largest repository of objects recovered from the World Trade Center site after September 11, 2001. Within weeks of the attacks, State Museum staff documented the operations at the WTC site and later spent countless hours at the WTC Recovery Operation at Fresh Kills where all the material was inspected. In the ten months that followed the attacks, the FBI and NYPD recovered over 50,000 pieces of personal property. The Museum also documented the Fresh Kills operation with hundreds of photographs, interviews, and films.
The FBI and NYPD transferred all artifacts to the Museum after they were designated non-essential to the crime scene as neither criminal evidence nor personal property. Items include rescue artifacts, building pieces, everyday artifacts, and other objects from the site. No object collected from Fresh Kills by the State Museum was kept if it could be identified as owned by an individual. Vehicles like a FDNY truck were signed over to the State Museum by the FDNY via a deed of gift by the specific agency. Forty-nine pieces of the two airplanes that crashed into the towers were transferred to the State Museum by the FBI. These include fuselage, interior, and engine parts.
The State Museum also has a significant collection of sympathy material from the New York City area, New York State, and across the world.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, fundraising, programming, and operations of the Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center. The Memorial & Museum will be located on eight of the sixteen acres of the World Trade Center site. The Memorial will be dedicated on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and will open to the public the following day, and the Museum will open in September 2012.
The Memorial will remember and honor the thousands of people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees.
The Museum will display monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning, and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 and 1993 attacks and the aftermath. It will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individual lives, as well as on local, national, and international communities; and explore the continuing significance of these events for our global community.