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New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani hailed New York City first responders, as he reflected on the Sept. 11 attacks 20 years ago.
Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in an interview with Fox News, said the feelings he remembers most about Sept. 11, 2001, were a “combination of anger and deep sadness.”
“It was one of the greatest rescue missions in the history of our country, with the FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority police officers, working to save tens of thousands of New Yorkers, of Americans,” Giuliani said. “Think about that heroism – they didn’t know what they were actually getting themselves into.”
Giuliani, at the time, was a freshman in high school. He recalled being taken to St. Joseph’s Regional High School in New Jersey that morning – about 20 minutes outside of New York City.
“We were driving over the George Washington Bridge that morning, and I remember the last time seeing the Twin Towers, probably about 90 minutes or so before the first plane hit,” Giuliani said. “I’ll never forget that day, and driving over the bridge, you’d see the Empire State Building, and the Twin Towers, distinctly in the skyline, and the Statue of Liberty.”
Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, speaks during a news conference to launch his Republican campaign for governor of New York in 2022, in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., May 18, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
“It is a moment that gives a distinct before and after in our world – certainly as New Yorkers and Americans – but so many people felt our world changed on that day,” he said.
When asked whether growing up in a post-9/11 New York City had an impact on his current political goals, Giuliani said it is “difficult to tell if it influenced me to run.”
“But politics and policy became ubiquitous – policy effects all of these issues that ended up leading to that moment, and from that moment on, how to make sure a moment like that never happened again,” Giuliani said.
“There has been this movement to defund the police over the last year and a half,” he continued. “We need to make sure our police are fully funded, and make sure they have the resources we need in the counterterrorism unit – one of the best in the world – we need to make sure that is not hollowed out, and make sure they can do their job to prevent another terrorist attack from that level ever happening in New York again.”
Giuliani, pointing to the anti-police marches and protests over the last 18 months, said he thinks about “those police officers and first responders and firefighters and Port Authority officers and the rescue mission they carried out on Sept. 11.”
“I wish more people who believe in defund the police would actually think about all of the positives that our police do, day in and day out, and that they will continue to do,” Giuliani said. “Our police officers would be some of the first people in the building conducting a rescue mission today – the way they did on 9/11 20 years ago.”
He added: “I wish some of the people leading the charge of defund the police would have that perspective, like so many of us who lived that day have.”
Meanwhile, Giuliani remembered that on his way to school on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, passing the Twin Towers “for the last time,” he was discussing the New York Giants who had just lost in “Monday Night Football” the night before.
“I remember thinking later in the day just how inconsequential our conversation was,” he said. “But we saw later in the year what actually sports could do for our city and our country, and it gave so many families and first responders that had gone through the absolute worst of times a few moments to actually enjoy something that brings our city together, like a football game or a baseball game.”
Giuliani added: “It was less about winning and losing, and more about coming together, saying you’re not going to destroy our American way of life.”
“Whether we vote red or blue, or we are White or Black or Jewish or Christian, we all were coming together as New Yorkers, and as Americans, and we’re going to protect our way of life even under the worst assault,” he said.
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