Governor Andrew Cuomo: "Happy Birthday, Pop."
Yesterday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge would be lit in blue in the evening in honor of the former Governor's birthday and in memory of his commitment to public service.
PHOTOS of the lit bridge are available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
You want to talk about a turnaround? You want to talk about an accomplishment? You want to talk about people doing something they never did before? Yes. They built that bridge, the largest infrastructure project in the country. And New York scaled the highest mountain and went from the worst situation with this COVID virus to the best situation with this COVID virus. New Yorkers did it because we did it together. That's what was so different, so challenging, but so exciting. The only way for each of us to be healthy was if all of us were healthy. The only way to protect my health was if you were willing to protect my health. And we did it together.
Challenge for all of us, but a challenge for each of us. Each of us had to battle our own fears and our own demons to be ready for moment. And this Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge, we're here today to say, "happy birthday." I'm here today to say, "happy birthday." It's my father's birthday today. And he would be very proud today. I miss him very much. I miss him every day. But in a lot of ways, he's still with me. There were many nights that I went to sleep during this past 106 days, and I laid there in the bed and I said, "what would my father tell me to do today?" And I could hear his voice, and he gave me great advice and great comfort in some of the longest nights. And I knew exactly what he would say. He said, take responsibility, own it, don't point fingers, don't get into a blame game. You're governor of the State of New York. Take responsibility. Take responsibility for all of it, and be accountable for it. My father would have quoted Winston Churchill. He loved Churchill saying never give up, never give up, never give up. My father said to me, rise above the politics. They're going to play politics, they always do. Don't sink to their level. Don't listen to the naysayers. Speak to people's better angels. And he would say, trust the people of the state. Tell them the truth, and they will do the right thing. And that's exactly what I did for 106 days. I told the people the truth, I told them the facts, I didn't sugar coat it, I told them what we had to do, and they did the right thing, and they wrote a beautiful chapter in the history of this great state and in the history of this nation.
My father always spoke about the fundamental philosophy of operating as a family. As a family, we take it for granted. I'll help you, you'll help me, we're family. We're all family. We're all family, the state is one family. When they murdered Mr. Floyd, they murdered a member of our family. That's what the protests are saying. When one of us gets sick, we're all suffering in this state. So we're all supporting one another. I think my father would have loved where we came out of this because his dream, his moral leadership, was just that simple. Came down to love, care about one another, and act like you care about one another and you love one another. And that's what we did. Tonight we're going to illuminate the bridge in blue because blue is my father's favorite color. And when he's looking down, I want to make sure tonight he sees his bridge lit up blue, and I think it'll put a smile on his face.