Thank you for joining us as we commemorated the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001 on Friday, September 10,2021 at 12:00 pm on the south side of Supreme Court. Below is the speech from our President, Peter A. Piciulo:
The week before September 11th I received a call from my buddy Tom who worked in Building 7. He wanted to know if the courts had heard anything concerning threats to the area because they were now searching vehicles using the parking garage. He always had a sense of things that were going to happen.
The morning of September 11th was clear as can be and I remember listening to my talk radio station when word came of the first plane hitting the north tower of the WTC at 8:45. They used the words “accidentally flew into”, but I knew better. I parked my car and Mary, who was a Court Reporter, asked if I heard of the accident that just happened? I said “Look up, there is no way the pilot didn’t see that building. This was no accident.”
In District Court, Captain Jay Nix was listening to the radio to try and get what information he could. By the time I reported to the desk, the second plane had hit the south tower. We all now knew we were under attack. No one, not even my friend Tom, could have predicted such an act of war hitting so close to home.
September 11th made many heroes that day out of regular citizens like Michael Benfante and John Cerqueira, who carried a wheelchair-bound Tina Hansen to safety down from the 68th floor of the north tower. But also, first responders did what they were trained to do, run towards the danger. With the courts nearby, that’s what officers and the academy staff did. They responded to render whatever aid they could and in doing so put their own lives and safety at risk.
We gather today to honor our court brethren, Captain William “Harry” Thompson, Sgt. Mitchel Wallace, and Sgt. Tommy Jurgens, who gave their lives to save others 20 years ago. And we pray for these brave souls and those who have lost their lives since like our member SCO Anthony Franzone, who died from 9/11 related illness just this past week.
May God bless all our court family. God bless this great nation. And never forget what happened that September day.
Peter A. Piciulo