First responders, elected officials, and surviving family members came together on Sunday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing by remembering those who perished in the attack.
Six New Yorkers died in the Feb. 26, 1993 attack, which changed the lives of thousands more, and set the stage for what – less than a decade later – would become the worst terrorist attack in American history.
At almost 20 minutes past noon that fateful day, a band of terrorists drove a truck carrying explosives into the parking garage directly underneath the World Trade Center. The attackers then set off a massive explosion that killed six people — including a pregnant woman — and injured more than 1,000.
While the terrorists did not achieve their goal of bringing down the North Tower on that snow-sprinkled day, those who lost a loved one as a result are still dealing with the trauma some three decades later.
“It’s still as if it was yesterday, we speak of them,” Governor Kathy Hochul told the gathered family members who, even on the 30th anniversary of the attack, fought to hold back tears. “I am sure for those of you who still have a missing chair at the dinner table, time stands still — you still have that loss. I just want to tell you I grieve along with you. The words that I can give will never heal the scars, the pain, but just know that the memory of your loved ones will never ever dissipate.”
The families gathered by the north memorial pool at the 9/11 Museum on the frigid afternoon. There, they clung to flowers and stood steadfast in the face of the blistering wind on the grim anniversary. And, although some of the younger family members huddled together Saturday were not yet born when smoke wafted out of the 100-foot crater left in the bombing’s wake, they still know the sorrow of losing a loved one all too well.
Among those in attendance Saturday were Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, all of whom laid flowers upon the names of those who perished.
“Remembering the dead as we are doing here today is a sacred act of healing and hope for the future. In 30 years, the pain of losing a loved one never disappears,” Schumer said. “Despite the hole in their hearts, they are lighting candles by remembering.”
With tears in their eyes and anguish in their hearts, the families continued to do what they have done for the past 30 year: remember — but not only for themselves. Many in attendance say they remember for those who have yet to be born. With a quick prayer and the laying of a rose, they left the memorial pool until the next remembrance.