9-11: Fifteen Years Later

twin-towersThis is the fifteenth anniversary of a day most of us will never forget . . . and should never forget.

At several local events organized to commemorate this occasion, I will deliver variations of the following remarks.


Remarks of Mayor Noam Bramson – September 11, 2016

Fifteen years is a long time. Time enough for children to grow into adults; for families that were broken to become whole again; for the skyline of lower Manhattan to rise once more. Scars heal.

As the horrific events of September 11, 2001 recede further into memory, becoming less a part of our daily experience and more a part of our history, it is fair to ask what the meaning of this 15th anniversary ought to be.

Why are we here? Why should we be here?

Certainly not for politics or partisanship, because this is a day that should unite all Americans and remind us of the many things we share.

And not also to debate the issues of war and peace, security and privacy, or any of the other serious questions that spring from our struggle against hatred and terrorism. There is a time and place for such debates, but it is not now.

I believe we are here — should be here — for just two simple reasons.

First, to honor the victims of 9-11 – and to honor also their families, whose pain may ease with time, but never fully disappears.

It is for all us to lift up our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and friends, whose lives were shattered that day — to lift up the First Responders who protect us close to home, and the armed forces that protect us around the world. To continue holding them in our prayers and in our hearts, never forgetting their sacrifice, always demonstrating our profound respect and gratitude. Surely we can do this.

And there is a second reason: to remember that we are as good a community and country as we choose to be.

This is the strongest nation on the face of the Earth. Nobody knocks us out. Don’t get me wrong – there are many dangers. But there is no threat from outside that can take away our liberties, that can take away our belief in the God-given equality of humankind, that can take away our faith in the possibility of a more just and loving world.

These things rise or fall on the strength of our own convictions and the power of our own example. We choose.

That is both the blessing and the burden of American exceptionalism, and a challenge to every man, woman, and child who looks with pride to the flag of our country.

So let this be not only an occasion to remember and to mourn – although it should be that. May it also be a day to renew the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood that always make us stronger together from sea to shining sea.

God bless the United States of America and God bless all people of good will.


Separated at Birth?

SeparatedMy latest piece in the Huffington Post is mainly tongue-in-cheek, but like all things in this unsettling election year, it’s hard to know where the joke ends and the tragedy begins.

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In Defense of Liberal Democracy

SlateA thought-provoking and unsettling piece in Slate today, finding a common thread in political movements around the world that pose fundamental challenges to liberal democracy.  It’s a long article, but really worth the read, and an effective call to arms for those complacent about the durability of our values and institutions.


Schumer in New Ro to Announce Fire Registry

Senator Chuck Schumer, Mayor Noam Bramson, Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio, and UFFA President Pete Miley.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Mayor Noam Bramson, Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio, UFFA President Pete Miley, and many of New Rochelle’s bravest.

Happy to introduce Sen. Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) this morning.  The Senator was in New Rochelle to announce legislation that would establish a cancer registry for firefighters.

There’s much evidence suggesting that the environmental contaminants and toxins inhaled by firefighters can lead to cancer.  Schumer’s proposed registry would rigorously quantify and examine these links to better understand causes and more effectively develop prevention measures and treatments.

We were proud to be joined by New Rochelle’s Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio, the local UFFA President Pete Miley, leaders from several other Westchester Fire Departments, and, of course, many of New Rochelle’s bravest.


Donald Trump’s Concession

Charming TrumpPlease read my latest piece on the Huffington Post.

No candidate enjoys delivering a concession speech.  Trust me.  I’ve given two, and they hurt.  But when it comes to the Presidency, acknowledging defeat is more than just a matter of graciousness, it is vital to our democracy.

So when Donald Trump said yesterday that the election might be “rigged,” it got me to wondering whether he is even capable of conceding.

In a democracy, a man who cannot forgo power should never be trusted with power in the first place.  One more in a long list of reasons why Trump is utterly unfit for the Presidency.

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Courting GE

GEWhen the State courted GE for a new corporate headquarters a few months ago (an undertaking given the code name “Project Plum,”) municipal officials in New Rochelle and other communities under discussion were advised to refrain from any public comment.

But now that Politico has published a full account, I guess the cat’s out of the bag.  It’s an interesting read.

Although New Rochelle was always a long shot to land GE, I am both proud that we were in the mix and disappointed that it didn’t work out.