Bronxites put their differences aside last week as they commemorated the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
On Friday, Jacobi Hospital held its annual 9/11 event at the Jacobi Memorial Garden. The mood was somber and hospital employees and elected officials gathered to remember the perished.
There was a prayer to remember 9/11, an inspirational reading of “Meet me in the Stairwell,” remarks by elected officials and attendees laid wreaths on the memorial as “Amazing Grace” played in the background.
Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez, Senator Jamaal Bailey and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto spoke.
Benedetto said 19 years ago the country came together and there was a sense of unity and expressed a desire for the country to be united once more. The assemblyman urged people to hold hands and cherish their loved ones.
“We will get through it [racial tensions and COVID-19] like we did 19 years ago,” Benedetto said.
For the past six months, Senator Bailey has been doing many events via Zoom, so he has not had many opportunities to don a suit. But on Friday morning, his 3-year-old daughter saw him getting dressed with a shirt and tie and asked him where he was going.
Bailey replied that he was going to a memorial for 9/11, to which his confused child responded, “What is that? It’s not 9:11 a.m., it’s 7 a.m.” He then told her it was to remember people who died. She then asked why the events of that day transpired and the senator recalled that he had no answer.
“We’ll never know why they did what they did,” he said. “But I know we’re going to be stronger year after year.”
Bailey, 38, expressed his belief that 9/11 is one of the worst dates in American history, and said that this year, the date represents the halfway point of his life. The senator urged people to call or text those they love because no one knows how long they have on earth.
“My halfway point of existence on this planet is marred by something we will never forget,” Bailey stated.