Remembrances on Patriot Day

A flag flies at half-mastThe September 11 terrorist attack on the United States will always evoke a special emotion in me as an American, a New Yorker and a Social Security employee. On this day, we honor the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center, in Pennsylvania and in the Pentagon. We also salute the courageous men and women dedicated to the rescue efforts. This incomprehensible event changed us all.

Fourteen years have passed since we collectively experienced the turmoil and grief of September 11. That day was difficult and emotional and we each experienced it in a very personal way.  For those Social Security employees working in Manhattan at 26 Federal Plaza who heard the first jet, felt its shock wave, saw both towers ablaze and then evacuated under extreme conditions, the memory is indelible. So, too, for the New York Disability Determination Service (DDS) employees who worked in the shadow of the World Trade Center and escaped from the blaze and the rubble of collapsing buildings.

While we were all attempting to regain our equilibrium from that day, Social Security employees around the country made special efforts to help. We showed our strength and compassion and the value of both public service and Social Security. Through our efforts, over 5,000 individuals applied for survivors and disability benefits. The Agency’s response at such a critical moment in our nation’s history was truly uplifting. Many of the survivors of those who perished had their first Social Security payment on October 3, 2001. Our Social Security programs were essential to their well-being, reminding us that Social Security is more than a retirement program.

As I reflect on the events of September 11, I am justly proud of how Social Security employees responded to those events.  Regional office, field office, program service center and teleservice center staff all worked tirelessly to reach out to the families of the victims and overcome the challenges that this tragedy presented to the agency and to us individually. I’m sure that all of us — whether we worked in Lower Manhattan or at the centers on Pier 94, Liberty State Park and DC, whether we took claims from family members by telephone or in person, or worked to ensure that 15,000 individuals whose disability files remained at 22 Cortlandt Street (the location of the DDS) were not disadvantaged or whether we assisted law enforcement efforts — will  always remember those experiences. We persevered and showed our indomitable spirit, and experienced an amazing outpouring of hope and healing as we moved forward.

Looking back at my own experiences with the families of the victims of September 11, I realize that time will never diminish the force of the stories they told. The stories were in their eyes and faces and in the pictures of the victims all around us.  I will never forget these families: a young man in his mid-20s who lost his wife of two years, had a 6-month old child at home and could never stop crying; the father of a policeman and fireman who lost both sons in their efforts to rescue people at the World Trade Center; two little boys (aged 3 and 5) playing with their father’s identification card while their grandfather applied for Social Security benefits; the pregnant mother with three children and no idea of how the family would financially survive. I cannot forget them.

Despite the highly charged environment of the days that followed, all of us at Social Security pulled together to provide support to those who lost family members and loved ones. It will always remind me that we are one family with amazing resiliency and that we will always come together to help those in their time of need.

Today, New York City is a strong, dynamic city. It has lifted itself and is moving forward. We see this by visiting the September 11 Memorial Museum and Freedom Tower. The streets of downtown Manhattan are filled with people. There is a hum in the air and an incredible energy.

As we pause for a moment of silence to remember those we lost on September 11, fourteen years ago, we should not forget those families Social Security helped, nor all the children who are now teenagers and young adults.



49 thoughts on “Remembrances on Patriot Day

    • Only through our faith in God can we overcome a trajedy such as this. When we lose a loved one – the hurt can be overwhelming and forgiveness of the evildoers is hard to give. Our healing and the mending of our hearts comes from our faith and hope that time will heal our wounds. I pray that those whose lost loved ones, friends, co-workers can be healed by their faith and trust that God is always and will forever be in control no matter what happens in our lives. God bless those who survived and those who aided in those times and can now look back and reflect that the greatest gift we all have is LOVE even for our enemies and LOVE for all those who helped in putting their lives back together and the rememberance of all those who lost their lives on that day 14 years ago.

      • We do not believe that any God had anything to do with Sept 11, 2001 because we can never accept, that the abject grief and suffering that happened that day could be caused by an “ALL GOOD” or “ALL MERCIFUL” supernatural thing, We can never accept that He either caused the horror, or allowed the horror to happen, during His watch. Either way, it does not take a genius to perceive that it is both, criminal to cause it, and very criminal and malicious, to allow it to happen. Think about it, but do not bother to reply to us. But rather, just keep it to yourself, or share it with your family and friends only.

        • jonas,and other misled folks==You need to read up on a book titled the holy bible,and find out for yourself what my Lord has done to His people,numerous times throughout history, to his chosen, that is his chosen people–You may change your mind.

          • You obviously never ever read any of it. Or you read it, ignoring the horrible things that it preaches. That is o.k. you are entitled to live under the God delusion. The Bible and the chosen people and all that was invented by desert nomads from the Middle East, during the iron age. It is outdated by reason and common sense, and reserved for the intellectually challenged and otherwise for children of a lesser brain. The Bible did have a couple of positive effects back when folk thought that the sun traveled around the world. But in this geeky XXI century it is rather pathetically boring. But most of all, it is unnecessary, and will soon enough join the rest of mythological beliefs that preceded in history.

          • Thank you for your terse, but very kind reply. I would oblige if you would watch my kind rebuttal; But please I kindly submit, that my reply, in the form of a YouTube presentation, is certainly not suitable for the intellectually challenged. In better words, your mind must be wide open to my humble enlightenment efforts. All the Best To You..!


  1. Since September 2001 I have maintained a “9/11 list-serv” which distributes daily e-mails containing newspaper articles and other relevant information re: 9/11 issues of interest to 9/11 families, 9/11 organizations and interested individuals.

    The 9/11 List-serv archives can be accessed at

    Anyone who would like to ‘subscribe’ to this free news service should send an e-mail to with the word “subscribe” in the subject box.

  2. Thank you for sharing your memories of that fateful day. Thank you for your service to the families of the those who perished on September 11, 2001.

    • …And, also waiting for us, on the other side, will be the perpetrators of the horrible deed, along with their 72 virgins for each, that awaited them in heaven. Yes, would that day’s events be considered, an act of God..?

  3. May GOD forgive and bless all who died under this horrific day, because of their tribulation we as a free country rose up to overcome and honor those who gave all and suffered so, to overcome but never forget our great loss. In GOD we trust!

  4. Beautifully written. I can’t imagine what the families went through afterward but it’s good to know Social Security stepped up to help them so quickly. I’m sure it was a huge relief for many.

    Thank you for this post.

  5. Thank you for having this remembrance to honor those victims and their families. We lost a relative that day, a young man newly married. But what I am most thankful for is what we gained that day. Strength from God to overcome hatred and work for world peace wherever we are. God bless you for your continued work to help. My prayers are with you and all of us effected by this event.

        • You sound like a very young and ignorant person, unworthy to add comments, unless you are fully conscious of what your fingers are keying in. Please research what you posted, and keep what you will learn and confirm, to yourself. You cannot possibly fathom, how much we do not care, that you ignore, or choose to ignore, facts. Which will always be true, whether you want to believe them, or not. Allah, dear child, is the very same dude, as Yaweh, or Elohim, or your, what did you call Him? God of the Bible..? You do not know the truth, because you cannot handle, the truth..! We are fortunate to live in America. And we are very fortunate and have all been absolved, by the Supreme Court’s decision, about the Dover, Pa. debate on the topic of “Pandas and People” You now have all the references to help your emancipate yourself. Do research and you shall avoid embarrassment. Really.

  6. I knew the area where the Twin Towers stood, since before they were built. I walked through the cobblestoned streets and shopped in various stores that occupied the old “counting houses” in that area, that remained from the days when that area was the New York merchant ships’ docks, used from colonial days, before steamships, when ships were driven by wind on their sails… Then in 1967 and ’68, I saw the Twin Towers under construction, starting with the discovery of the burnt remains of the “Tiger”, a Dutch sailing ship, from the era when New York was New Amsterdam, under Peter Stuyvesant… I walked into the Twin Towers for the first time, in 1974, where I used to have lunch at the Customs House cafeteria, within the towers. That was before you had to use ID cards to enter any downtown building anywhere.
    Then I visited the observation deck often, after making long lines, just to take pictures with my Kodak Instamatic camera. I went to my company’s Christmas party celebrated on the observation deck, in 1991 or ’92.
    American Express Company had offices in those buildings, and I walked through the huge lobby and all the stores, and shopped each day in the Duane Reade pharmacy, before crossing the bridge over to reach my office at 100 Vesey Street. Memories. Sadness. Huge grief. And since that fateful day, my absolute hard bent desire to eradicate Islam, from the face of the World. I have cried over all the documentaries about the Twin Towers, and I am a full supporter of Pamela Geller, and her doctrine about the topic. A delicate topic; yet one that can no longer be subdued by political correctness. I watch the documentary “The battle of Vienna, 1683” every day, for inspiration to erase Islam and its defective human specimens, from the Earth, with absolute and total attrition, as may be necessary. And I just thought I would let you all read it, and be appalled, before you erase this post. I am happy that someone read it, at least. I will die soon, so I urgently submit to you, that unless you all deal with the faulty and very criminal Islamic humanoids, your offspring may be living under Sharia doctrine, that is creeping into the world as you read these fateful words. Do some homework, and work on your wholehearted effort to do what must and very likely, will, be done… Total, Islam..! It is a very criminal bucketful of putrid ox feces, and it has got to GO…!

      • Heart disease; Cardiomyopathy and kidney failure; GFR, 35%… Now in line for dialysis. Very happy to die and go to the very same place I was, before I was born. And besides, I refuse to live beyond the day that I can no longer make it to the bathroom on time, or, on my own. My humble intelligence would not survive the boredom of heaven, I would kill myself, and die again, if I were sent to such a boring place..! And hell? well, I would kill myself there, all over again..! That is why I researched the matter thoroughly, concluding that I will be going to the very same address where I resided, before I was born: Nowhere..! By now, you might have guessed that I do not believe in supernatural things or imaginary friends, dwelling in the stratosphere, invented by ignorant desert nomads from the Middle East, during the iron age… That “believe” that I believed? Well, it went away on September 11, 2001. We all know that God may have created the universe, but what folk ignore, is that after He created everything, He never again had anything to do with His creation. He allows everything to happen, to some of the most innocent folk on His planet, as we may all confirm on the following dates: December 26, 2004; January 12, 2010, and of course the reason for this thread: September 11th, 2001. But to get back to the topic, well, I will use the abjectly false and brutally delusionary statement: “God”… bless Social Security, rather than thanking the democratic process that created Social Security, by a Democratic president: Franklin D. Roosevelt. Yes, indeed..!

  7. I remember exactly where I was standing and the numbness I felt as we listened to the news of what
    was happening. I pray for those who lost loved ones that tragic day as well as the families of all of those who worked to rescue the victims and the trauma they must still feel today. May GOD BLESS AMERICA and remind all of us of how blessed we are to live in the United States of
    America. IN GOD WE TRUST!

  8. My wife and I honor the victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, in Pennsylvania and Pentagon. We put today morning our American Flag in the porch’s house. We never forgot the more three thousand victims of the terrible terrorist attack against this American nation.
    God bless America!
    Pierre Millet
    Cuban lawyer &
    Proudly U.S. citizen

  9. I remember, I was in the US Army Reserves. I was called in to our Headquarters, slept on the floor waiting for reports during the night. We knew that eventually will be going to war.

  10. Jonas after reading your post I feel so sad for have no hope…to have nothing to look forward too after death. You seem depressed due to your health. I too have health issues, however, I do believe in God and I do believe that God has allowed us free will. Just look at the beauty all around.. look into the eyes of a young child, the beautiful colors in a birds friend I will pray that somehow you will find the inner peace that you. I am not going to try and convenience you that there is a God that is the beauty of living in this country we all have choices. I wish to live my life believing that there is good in everyone and yes as difficult as it can be at times there are some people that we have to really look deep down in side to find the beauty. May you have peace in your life. GOD BLESS AMERICAN AND GOD BLESS ALL OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMAN WHO PAID WITH THEIR LIVES TO GIVE US THE FREEDOM TO WRITE WHATEVER WE WISH!

  11. Just as I knew would happen. “comments awaiting moderation” but I do not care. By now, enough folk have read it. And if they possess any grey matter at all, they will be thinking about what they read. And since I will not be around to watch you all suffer under Sharia doctrine, I cannot begin to tell you how much I don’t care. Have a nice weekend..!

  12. It was nice reading your honor and remembering
    9/11/2001as for some of the reply I read I just shake my head
    And say Amen, Sweet Jesus

  13. Civilians were victims in this 9/11/01 tragic event. God bless those who seek balance in future relationships with foreign powers and let the military protect our soil. What a comeback America made as it usually does.

  14. RE: Health and Welfare. 10th Ed. Hospitals & Asylums. HA-7-9-15

    I began receiving SSDI about a month before the 9-11 attacks when I had been investigating an Arab owned interstate juvenile psychiatric institution detaining a legally non-Jewish child wanted by her poor Christian mother and transferring her from an 18 to 21 year state, when she went to live with her Mom. Maybe Congress isn’t the worst government to write, but it might be. The Clerk did think to take note of the totally losing case of attempted suicide and successful war. I guess Carolyn Colvin is still the Acting Commissioner, although SSA seems to recognize at least a Presidential appointment. What could compare to St. Valentine’s day as a matter of law? These days enacting laws is entirely based upon totally abolishing the Democratic-Republican (DR) two party system before any biological life-form could agree. The FICA tax rate however is predicated upon the precise amendment of statute regarding taxes, and can be argued to not involve the imposition of any taxes calling for representation. The cooperation of the IRS and employers is however necessary to express FICA tax rates to the public for educational reasons that might ultimately require a 2% UN tax so employees see what 1% is. Disability consumes 2.3% of our income, not 1.8% of our time. I need to express the gout Congress imposes on the future solvency of the DI trust fund, if I am to not take another of sip of the beer that disagrees so badly with metronidazole the bartender thought to card me. It however might be unwise to engage so many people without Congressionally enacted statute. There is no denying that the Commissioner must get her Actuary, Commissioner and Treasurer (ACT) together to avoid being held responsible for depleting the DI Trust Fund. She must do the math herself, or swallow the best the disabled have to provide, and bill OASI in the tried and true, but extremely difficult and time consuming, tax rate reallocation dating from Oct. 1 by executive fiat, pending Congressional approval and tax evasion charges on January 1 regarding the abolition of the maximum taxable limit that promises to balance the federal budget if SSA can work with HA, who is tenured by disability insurance, and the OMB Director. On that point we are trying to teach an old Actuary the even older OASDI tax reallocation trick and everyone, meaning the Commissioner, must check, or temporarily agree with the the tax reallocation math of this particularly disability beneficiary, before the Actuary takes responsibility for their pain the OASDI tax calculation in the next Annual report that must explain this national enrichment by HA at the expense of the disabled and provide the Treasury with estimates. Notwithstanding any highly mathematical religious tests of our national accountants, the Commissioner has permission to make a secondary transmission of this Act and supporting book that is not really being submitted for Congressional destruction of Title 24 Chapter 3 at this time, but is available, to the President of the United States and OMB Director Shaun Donovan for submitting to Congress the –

    Social Security Amendment of 2016

    Free Disability Insurance Reallocation Tax (DIRT) Act

    To immediately amend the DI tax rate from 1.80% to 2.30%, from 0.90% to 1.15% for employees and from 0.90% to 1.15% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.60% to 10.10%, from 5.30% to 5.05% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.30% to 5.05% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) to avoid depletion of the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund in 2016 without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 beginning October 1, 2015.

    To amend the DI tax rate again in 2018 to 2.20% from 2.30%, from 1.15% to 1.10% for employees and from 1.15% to 1.10% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.10% to 10.20%, from 5.05% to 5.10% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.05% to 5.10% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 to maximize efficiency until a deficit appears in the OASI Trust Fund in 2019.

    Without Income Limit Law (WILL) Act

    To abolish the maximum taxable limit on DI contributions on January 1, 2016 and OASI contributions January 1, 2017 and repeal Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)§430.

    To require the Social Security Administration to pay for SSI Costs beginning January 1, 2017.

    To share profits in excess of social security program costs to the general fund of the U.S Treasury on a sliding scale beginning year end 2016 DI 50/50 with the USPS, and OASI 10/90 to eliminate the federal budget deficit. In 2020 OASI would share at negotiated rates an estimated 25/75, by 2025 OASDI would share 50/50 and by 2030 OASDI would save to pay for the peak in costs of Baby Boomer generation in 2035 that might raise the overall OASDI tax rate from 12.4%.

  15. God’s greatest gift to mankind and the angels only was FREE WILL. God can not interfere and take it back as it was a gift. And where was God on 9/11 when innocent people died? He was in the same place as He was when His beloved Son, Jesus died a horrible, cruel, death on the cross. His blood paid for our sins, however, we still have free will to choose good or evil. Make good choices.

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