Philly officials honor sacrifices of 9/11, see resonance in response to hurricane victims

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney joined Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and other elected officials on Monday to remember the thousands who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville.

Sixteen years after the horrific events of 9/11, Kenney said he still thinks about the nearly 3,000 people who were killed.

“I think everyone here can recall exactly where they were when they heard the news that America was under attack,” Kenney said. “Families were torn apart, and our sense of security was stolen from us forever. But we responded, as we always do, by retaining our American values and not letting fear take over our lives.”

Emergency responders from Philadelphia were sent to New York in the aftermath of the attacks.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Of the thousands who died on Sept. 11, more than 400 were emergency workers, all from New York or New Jersey.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said city firefighters are now in Florida and Houston assisting with recovery efforts after the hurricanes.

“I remember, on this 9/11, how we came together in New York, in Arlington, at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, and how once again, on this 9/11, the same thing is happened in Florida and Texas,” Thiel said. “We are seeing the best of who we are as a nation.”

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the attacks undeniably changed law enforcement as a profession.

“But what it also did is strengthen our resolve,” Ross said. “It made us even stronger as a nation. It made us come together and work together and make sure we’ll always be there for one another “

Casey said he is still grateful for the responders who ran “into the darkness and the danger and ultimately to their own death trying to save others.”

The reach of those mourning, Casey said, cannot be understated.

“All those spouses, all those children, all those extended families,” he said.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal