As the years pile on, it seems harder and harder to believe we are another year removed from 9/11. The cry of “Never Forget” has been declared since then to commemorate the awful events of that day, but President Biden spent the day in Anchorage, Alaska, thousands of miles from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or Shanksville. It’s a decision that has upset many, including Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who was a Port Authority commissioner twenty-two years ago as the attack was happening. He appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michel Riedel in the Morning program as he was en route to the annual ceremony in Manhattan to explain why Biden’s decision to skip the ceremonies does not sit well with so many people.
“I just think that he’s completely numb to all of the pain and suffering that took place in the New York metropolitan area, in Pennsylvania, [and] at the Pentagon,” Blakeman told Berman and Riedel. “It’s a terrible mistake. The President of the United States is our leader…and he has an important role to play on such an important day in American history, and the fact that [he’s] not in any one of those three places, to me, I think, is a terrible, terrible mistake on his part.”
For Blakeman, it is more than his time at the Port Authority that makes his remembrance personal. Blakeman’s nephew, Thomas Jurgens, was one of the three New York State court officers who perished on 9/11.
“It’s important that we adhere to the ritual of remembering and going down to the memorial… I think about my nephew. He was 26 years old. Army veteran, volunteer firefighter, New York State court officer, raced with other court officers to Tower Two to help with the evacuation, and when he was giving first aid to a severely burnt woman in the lobby, the building collapsed on him and his two court officers, Captain Harry Thompson and Mitchell Wallace.”
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