9/11 Memo to Gov. Christie: Not Everything is About You

Like everyone, I’m still dumbstruck by the events of September 11, 2001. I was in Detroit, not here. Detroit, sharing a river, bridge & tunnel with Canada, is the nation’s most vulnerable area to illegal entry. City was in lockdown. Travel between the two countries at dead-stop. On Woodward Avenue, National Guardsmen on jeeps with rifles on their shoulders.

But I’ve always believed that September 11 didn’t happen to America, it happened to New York – and also to New Jersey & Connecticut. Because the people who died in the World Trade Center were our people. I can’t imagine what it was to be here. In the middle school, kids throwing up whose parents worked in NYC. The flyers. The smoke and steam visible from our cities on the Hudson.

With the 10th anniversary coming, felt as deeply near the Pentagon, Christie’s usual bombast seems particularly unwelcome now. In the last few days, Christie has called Mayor Bloomberg, whose city deserves respect right now, a Napolean a dictator and a putz. I realize part of what he’s is after is to get recognition for Donald DiFrancesco, who was ever so briefly sitting as governor when 9/11 happened. That he wants a role for David Samson, Port Authority Chair, and not inconsequentially his appointee. That some of it is wanting to make sure NJ has a role in the commemoration, as we certainly had a role in the loss.

But, even giving the Governor that benefit of doubt, most of his embarrassing kicking and screaming is simply typical Christie conduct.

But as we come up to the worst national day in most of our lives, it’s time for the Governor to tuck away his tantrums, and show respect – with his own behavior – for that loss. It’s not the time for ungentlemanly name-calling or jockeying for position. Gov. Christie is the biggest of big wheels – okay, Governor, we all get it, bully for you. But arguing about the program? People died – try to keep your eye on the ball. Grow up a little before September 11, 2011. Try to remember that not everything is about you.

Postscript: At a presser this morning at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, the Governor denied calling Bloomberg any of those things. I don’t believe him for a minute.

Comments (4)

  1. Couch Potato Politics

    For reminding us that the upcoming anniversary isn’t about back-patting politicians or whining about lost recognition to politicians who happened to be holding temporary governorships on day of tragedy, hundreds of miles away.

    That it is, ionstead, a day to reflect and remember those who lost their lives for doing their jobs and showing up for work, who lost their lives for running into a place any sane man or woman would be running away from and for those who gave their health and, for some, their lives to dig, claw and scrape at the ruins of the once mighty towers in an effort to salvage even one living soul from  the rubble.

    Mr. Christie lacks something that any decent leader and human being requires to earn and deserve respect. Call it ethics, morals, compassion, selflessness or just simple character. Whatever it is, Mr. Christie has what can only be described as an irreversible defecit as he never seems to care to say or do the right thing, no matter the issue at hand.

    Thank you, Rosi, for reminding us that the upcoming anniversary is about what we lost and what we sacrificed. About the families forever changed.

    A true leader shows his qualities in how he handles the worst situiations and the most painful evenets and 10 years later, Mr. Christie has learned nothing of leadership.

  2. brendanod

    This is what 9/11 means to me.  The death of our citizenry and their memories should be our focus on this 10 year anniversary, but what really seems to be forgotten is why this occurred.

    9/11 was not an intelligence failure.  We had the intelligence al qaeda wanted to commit an act of terrorism.  We had the intelligence young men of arab decent were taking one way flying lessons.  We knew the twin towers were a symbolic target.  We knew our addiction to foreign oil and the religious freedom we enjoy in the U.S. is the impetus of why so many in the middle east hate us.  

    What did Donnie “D” do? Authorize public safety do give NYC any help they needed???  Okay….he would do that for any national or regional emergency.  

    What did CC do??  Donate campaign cash so he could be U.S. Attorney?  Be part of the club that took us into a senseless war that was started on a lie and caused the deaths of tens of thousands (maybe hundreds…we will never know) including thousands of our own brethren.

    What is CC doing now?  Causing the layoffs and reduction in force of thousands of police officers and firefighters.  How much intelligence will be lost because a detective is demoted to fill a spot and now has to answer radio calls??  During the public safety rallies in Trenton I saw a few firefighters carrying a sign that said, “9/11 heroes, 2011 zeroes”.

    When I think of the money that was spent in Iraq, I feel ill.  That money could have been spent so much better domestically by investing in intelligence,public safety, and an energy policy that will reduce our dependence on the middle east and the religious fanatics who live there.

    Ten years later, I have not forgot the people who were murdered that day, but I also cannot forget the failures of our government that precipitated that day nor the post 9/11 reactions that continue to this day to keep sending soldiers home in caskets.

  3. carolh

    I can understand the Governor of NJ being upset that Bloomberg would choose to ignore NJ during the memorial.

    I was on this side of the river but I still jump at the sound of an ambulance because I heard them all day – ambulances racing along 9W from NJ into the city to help that day.  Where I was in Englewood Cliffs was total lockdown so first responders had a clear path.  It was a devastating day – we could see it crystal clear from here. For days we could even smell it. I had a running commentary from one coworker whose father was in a building across the street when people began to jump and also was kept up to date by a former Marine I worked with who had spent many years working with the Port Authority workers who lost their lives that day.  It hit NJ very hard, in terms of the victims, and the first responders we lost.  Jersey City took in a lot of the folks who fled.  The widows who brought about the 9/11 commission were from NJ.  For Bloomberg to ignore NJ and the highest elected official that represents us was a thoughtless error.  So to pretend that NJ was not affected makes that day even more painful for a lot of folks on this side – especially people who lost loved ones or lived through it themselves.  

    9/11 didn’t just happen to NY.  It happened in full technicolor view of half of a sizable piece of NJ, as well as in Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon.  It was truly a blow to the US as a whole.  As I traveled to Nevada that week, strangers I didn’t even know came up to me to show their concern when they found out where I was from.  Nearly on the other side of the country.  It even affected folks there.


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