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Citizens Union

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"My Son Was Betrayed" Make The Next Buildings Safe


Sally Regenhard, Campaign For Skyscraper Safety

"I am very happy to say I am also a member of the coalition of 9/11 family groups. My group is also represented on the LMDC advisory family panel. Unfortunately, very unfortunately I am the parent of a 28 year old probationary firefighter who graduated from the fire academy only six weeks before 9/11. I really am here tonight to tell everyone that my son and the 343 firefighters were betrayed by a system they were sworn to uphold. They were betrayed by a system that allows buildings of any height, of any size, to be constructed in this city. Then the builders and the developers can walk away from them, and it's up to the fire department to figure out how to defend them. I am here to tell you that I would like to share this picture with you. This is my son. My son was a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. He had a 146 IQ; he was a student at San Francisco State University. He was an artist, a writer, a humanitarian, an environmentalist.

Most of you know that the World Trade Center was immune to adhering to any city state or federal building code and one single fire department code. It did not have to comply with any of those codes. I am here today to say, on behalf of the parents, relatives of the victims, do not build any other buildings in this city that do not have to comply with city state and federal building codes, or fire department codes. Keep in mind that the New York City code at present is woefully inadequate. It has to be revised, it must be reformed.

You have an obligation to re-build buildings that set a standard for safety and security so that people will want to live in those buildings, work in those buildings, so that insurers will want to insure those buildings. I must say I am very taken aback that in your principals there was no mention of safety and security. The only person here who mentioned safety was your city councilman Mr. Gerson, and I want to thank him for that.

Winston Churchill once said that every opportunity is an obligation. I would like to ask you to take this opportunity to construct buildings of a high level of safety and security and standards. Make this opportunity your obligation."

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