President Mary McAleese has paid tribute to the many Irish American police officers and firemen and women who lost their lives on 9/11.
Ireland’s first lady revealed her nation’s pride in its association with New York’s police and fire departments at a special memorial service in Dublin.
US Ambassador Dan Rooney and his wife Patricia hosted the poignant Ceremony of Peace and Reflection at the RDS Concert Hall.
Irish PM Enda Kenny and President McAleese were joined at the 10th anniversary commemoration by former New York Police Department Lieutenant William Cosgrove and New York firemen Michael O’Rourke, Thomas O’Rourke and Chief Dan Daly.
“We have always been so proud of Ireland’s longstanding association with America’s police and fire departments,” said Mrs McAleese.
“On that day of days your ready heroism showed us so clearly the source of that pride.”
President McAleese also told those gathered at the RDS that the horror of 9/11 still has a chilling immediacy.
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“The television pictures are etched on our minds and the tide of grief has never ebbed,” she said. “Ireland stood then, as we stand today, shoulder to shoulder with our friends and family in the United States.
“We share our remembering as an act of solidarity with all those who were bereaved or injured and with all those who gave their lives or sacrificed their health in order to help, for if terrorism manifested the meticulously planned worst of human nature that day, there were surely so many others who with no more than a heartbeat to decide, displayed a selfless generosity and spontaneous courage of astounding depth.”
Ambassador Rooney told the gathering of politicians, diplomats and members of the clergy that the ceremony was designed to honor the heroes of 9/11.
“These heroes, these firemen, these policemen, first-responders, clergy, soldiers, colleagues, brothers, sisters, who did not run from danger, but ran into danger,” said Ambassador Rooney.
“We salute some of these brave men who are with us in this place. We are also gathered to remember those killed fighting terrorism and to show the terrorist attacks have failed.
“Though thousands of innocents have fallen, not to rise, those who have used terror have failed. Individuals, communities, and nations have shown they are stronger than fear.
“Though we are ever mindful of our losses, our deep and painful losses, today we together look forward to the future. We look forward to a better and brighter future.
“We stand together, today in this place of remembrance, and every day looking forward to a time without fear, without war.”