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Rebuilding NYC - Testimonies From The Memorial Hearing
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Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

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Rebuilding NYC






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Can You Feel It?


Linda Giammona

I just want to ask the panel: can you feel it? Can you feel the passion? Have you been moved? Did you cry? That's what we're feeling. That's what we've felt the past 18 months. Every day. And now you get to feel it. And I want you to hold on to it, I want you to embrace it, and I want you to keep it close to your heart, because thatĻs where it is for all of us...

There are so many things that I wanted to say tonight that have already been said, and I am in awe of the intelligent, dignified, respectful, heartwarming remarks that have been made tonight by everyone. I want you to go to bed tonight and think of those three things that you keep hearing over and over and over again. And that is: on one day, eighteen months ago, a group of people tried to make a difference. And we are not saying that they are any more special than anyone else. We are saying, acknowledge that when the world was falling apart, firefighters, police officers and Port Authority and emergency service workers went in there and made a difference. You make a difference. I know it is a hard job, but they had a hard job too. And I don't know if you are up for it, I hope you are. But tonight I want you to think about it.

We are not asking for much. This is an area that many people's lives were destroyed at, and many people have not been recovered. My brother, unfortunately, was one of them, like many other stories you have heard tonight. Their very beings are still there. And you want to have people taking subways and trains and buying T-shirts and that's absurd.

I just want to say a couple of things. My brother died on his 40th birthday. Captain Vincent Giammona, my best friend. He is the son, was the son, of my father, who gave 40 years of his life as a firefighter to this city. I know my brother, if he was here and he had his choice, and I asked him, "Vinnie, what do you want on your tombstone, what do you want it to say?" He would say, "I want it to be Captain Vincent Giammona, FDNY, Ladder 5, father, son, brother, uncle, best friend." Remember him, tonight, when you go to sleep. Thank you.

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