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Rebuilding NYC - Testimonies From The Memorial Hearing
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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

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Rebuilding NYC






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My Husband Did Not Turn His Back on the Victims


Joanne Barbara, from Staten Island

I am here on behalf of my husband, FDNY Assistant Chief of Department Gerard Barbara and all of the other rescue workers of 9/11. My husband was in the fire department for 31 years, just prior to that, he was in the navy for four. He started his career in a war zone overseas and ended it in a war zone on U.S. soil. This is the last memory my children and I have of Gerry: A fireman turned soldier assessing the attack and trying to plan strategies to safely evacuate 25,000 innocent victims. My husband did not turn his back on the victims. He went in knowingly, fully aware that he would lose many firefighters and never save all of the victims. He entered the building and was never seen again. We have no remains, nothing to bury. This is his burial site.

Not to acknowledge the efforts of the rescue workers and those in uniform on the memorial, to not identify them as part of the fire department, is a disgrace to all of the victims, and a injustice to all of the rescue workers in this country and the world. It is important to set the historical record straight from the start for generations to come.

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