The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's remarks as prepared for delivery at 4 World Trade Center today.
Good afternoon. In the dark days that followed September 11, 2001, Americans made a solemn commitment that we would always remember in our hearts and minds all those we lost.
In just four months, on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, thanks to the generosity of people from around the world, the National September 11th Memorial will open, providing a powerful and permanent place of reflection and remembrance.
Already, there is a generation of children growing up who were too young to understand what happened on 9/11 – and they may be too young to understand what the news of Bin Laden’s death means. But it is our obligation in building the museum to ensure that the story of 9/11 is never forgotten.
In the dark days that followed September 11th, we made a solemn commitment that we would rebuild the World Trade Center site. As you can see, Seven World Trade Center is standing and open for business. Four World Trade Center has risen above 25 stories, One World Trade Center is now above 60 stories, and both are stretching higher every day. This is the largest, most complicated construction site in North America – and one of the most important in American history.
In the dark days that followed September 11th, we made a solemn commitment – to the dead and the living – that we would bring to justice those responsible for killing more than 2,900 innocent people.
Yesterday, Osama bin Laden found out that America keeps its commitments.
Today, we have come to the site that terrorists attacked in 1993 and again in 2001 to re-affirm our commitments – to all those we lost, to the future we believe in, and to a more peaceful and just world.
And we come to say, with gratitude for the courageous men and women who made it possible, that the forces of freedom and justice have once again prevailed over those who use terror to pursue tyranny.
Osama bin Laden is dead, and the World Trade Center site is teeming with new life.
Osama bin Laden is dead, and Lower Manhattan is pulsing with new activity.
Osama bin Laden is dead, and New York City’s spirit has never been stronger.
The construction you see here is a rebuke to all of those who seek to destroy our freedoms and liberties. Nothing will ever return our loved ones – but we are rebuilding from the ashes and the tears a monument to the American spirit. New York’s way is ever forward, ever skyward.
Ten years ago a terrible evil visited this place. Today, let the spirits that are all around us know some peace and justice.
Last night, spontaneous celebrations occurred here in Lower Manhattan, in Times Square, at the White House, in other public spaces, and within private homes around the country and the world. They were a tribute to the selfless valor and dedication of our armed forces, and to all those who have worked to prevent terrorist attacks over the past nine and a half years.
During that time, the New York City Police Department has built the most sophisticated counter-terrorism operation of any police department in the world. Today, as it does every day, Commissioner Kelly and our counter-terrorism experts will adjust their strategies and deploy their resources based on the latest information.
As of now, there are no new immediate threats against our city. But there is no doubt we remain a top target, and the killing of Bin Laden will not change that. Nor will it distract us from a mission that remains our absolutely highest priority: defending our city and country against all those who use violence to attack freedom.
On behalf of all New York City residents, I want to congratulate our Commander-in-Chief, all the men and women in our Armed Forces, and in our intelligence community, for accomplishing this mission.
And I also want to recognize, as President Obama did, the leadership of his predecessor, President Bush.
In the days after 9/11, President Bush came here to Ground Zero – and stood on the rubble, shoulder-to-shoulder with our rescue and recovery workers – and used a bullhorn to tell the world that that we would bring to justice those who attacked our city and our country.
He never wavered in that mission – and his leadership was crucial to yesterday’s victory.
Today, we are joined by a number of family members who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, as well as Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Fire Department Commissioner Sal Cassano, and Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward.
I also want to acknowledge Joe Daniels, the executive director of the 9/11 Memorial and Foundation, as well as two leaders who played such important roles in helping our city and country heal in the immediate aftermath of the attacks: Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor George Pataki.
Now, I’d like to ask Chris Ward, Speaker Quinn, Commissioner Kelly, Commissioner Cassano, Anthoula Katsimatides – whose brother John worked at Cantor Fitzergerald – and some of the other people here to say a few words.