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Memorial Postponed

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  • Memorial Postponed

    This is from the IAFF web site regarding the Memorial Service On November 18 2001.

    Fire Fighter Memorial Service Postponed
    Healing not possible as City halts recovery and arrests fire fighters.

    Nov. 7, 2001 - The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and its two New York City affiliates, the Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94 (UFA) and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854 (UFOA), today announced postponement of the fire fighter memorial service scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18.

    "Given the concern felt by the widows of our fallen brothers and thousands of New York fire fighters and fire officers about the city's callous actions over the last week, we believe it is impossible to hold a memorial service at this time that would bring people together to embrace the families, promote healing, and build unity," IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger said. "We plan to hold a service at a later date with new city leadership that will be more sensitive to the emotions of all of those whose loved ones and colleagues are still entombed at the World Trade Center site."

    "How can we ask our widows, our fire fighters and their families to show respect for the mayor and the fire commissioner," UFOA President Peter Gorman said, "when they are arresting our union leaders and fire fighters in small groups each day to maximize their smear campaign in the media?"

    "The fire fighters of FDNY, the widows of our fallen brothers, and thousands of civilians expect the bodies of the fallen fire fighters, police officers, and civilians to be removed from that site in a dignified manner, not dumped with debris in a Staten Island landfill," Schaitberger said.

    "This is absolutely unacceptable and it would be hypocritical for us to stand at a memorial service with a mayor and a fire commissioner who are robbing the families of our fallen fire fighters and other victims of their dignity," Schaitberger continued.

    "Our members are still grieving," UFA President Kevin Gallagher said. "Our people were traumatized once on Sept. 11 and they have been re-traumatized in the last few days. In the memory of our fallen brothers and in honor of their grieving families, we must postpone the Memorial service."

    The decision came after meetings between IAFF President Schaitberger, IAFF Secretary-Treasurer Vincent Bollon, UFA President Gallagher, and UFOA President Peter Gorman. They cited widespread resentment among widows and New York fire fighters about the city's arbitrary decision to reduce by 75 percent the number of fire fighters working at the World Trade Center site, preventing them from recovering the bodies of their fallen brothers and other victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, and the overreaction by the police commissioner to a fire fighter rally last Friday that resulted in unwarranted arrests.

    "The service we had planned in partnership with the City and the Fire Department of New York was meant to be a healing and unifying event," Schaitberger said. "It was meant to recognize and celebrate the heroism, service and sacrifice of our New York fire fighters and their families. Sadly, we believe that the city and FDNY's draconian actions over the last week have proven that no partnership exists. They have made it impossible for the healing process to begin."

    Fire fighters in New York are still mourning the loss of 344 of their brothers - an unprecedented loss for a department and a profession that faces danger on a daily basis. The bodies of more than 240 firefighters, dozens of police officers, and thousands of civilian victims have yet to be recovered. Late last week, despite repeated pleas from both the UFA and the UFOA, Giuliani drastically scaled back the on-site operations by fire fighters to recover bodies at the World Trade Center site, turning it into a "scoop-and-dump" operation. Under the new plan, the rubble is shipped directly to the Fresh Kills landfill. To the horror of fire fighters and families alike, at least one victim's torso has already been hauled to the dump on Staten Island.

    With this callous action, Mayor Giuliani abandoned his solemn pledge he made to the families in September. At that time, Giuliani said, "We will be at the site to recover your loved ones until the last brick is removed." Giuliani's change of heart stunned thousands of fire fighters and hundreds of widows. His decision broke faith with New York fire fighters by limiting their ability to recover the bodies of their fallen brothers, a long-standing tradition in the fire service dating back more than 200 years.

    The International Association of Fire Fighters is an AFL-CIO affiliated labor union representing more than 245,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel in the United States and Canada. Learn more about the IAFF at www.iaff.org. Contact: George Burke at (202) 824-1506 or 1 (888) 347-7593.

  • #2
    I feel sorry for everyone with a non-refundable ticket to NYC. Guess the IAFF wants to play politics more than they want to honor their brothers.
    The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!


    • #3
      It seemed a little soon for a ceremony. I'll be there when FDNY and the victim's families are ready.

      Never Forget 9-11-2001

      Stay safe out there!

      IACOJ Member


      • #4
        While I feel for the position of both Union locals in NYC, and that we must honor the wishes of our FDNY brothers and sisters.... I am still pretty ****ed at the large amount of money that I just flushed down the toilet - not to mention the countless numbers of other firefighters that have altered schedules, taken time off- switched shifts, etc.... to be in NYC in the 18th to honor our fallen brothers.

        I only hope that the situation can be resolved- and soon.


        "In Omnia Paratus"

        Member - IACOJ
        "Got Crust?"

        -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.


        • #5
          I agree with No_Name.

          I would like to hear what some of the members of this forum who are FDNY think about the memorial service being postponed.
          IACOJ Agitator
          Fightin' Da Man Since '78!


          • #6


            • #7
              Who cancelled it?
              The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!


              • #8


                • #9
                  I completly agree, that the IAFF is playing POLITICS in this case. They should HONOR the loss with the ceromony, and forget the politics. Why was the service not held in Central park, or Yankee Statium, either could hold many more people than the garden.


                  • #10
                    Better this way than to have 50,000 ****ed off IAFF members in NYC.If you don't like it you can always turn in your union card.


                    • #11
                      A lot of the people who supported the NYC IAFF members and were also coming to the memorial are not IAFF.
                      The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!


                      • #12
                        Wouldn't it help to get the point across a little better about pulling personnel out of ground zero, when there is 50,000 of us there instead of a couple of hundred?

                        I understand the reasons behind the postponment, but I do not agree with them. What would Gulianni think when we are all calling for him to uphold his promises and to let us find our brothers and all of the other people still entombed in the wreckage?

                        But like many others this means trying to change a lot of things around to try and regain everything that I rescheduled. We actually had a tour bus lined up so we could make then ten hour drive, show our support, and return home that night to go to work on Monday.


                        • #13
                          I, for one, feel this memorial was planned way too soon. As I said in an earlier post, somewhere, every member's family should complete their finalization before this takes place. For all of you who are ****ed off, I ask you to get back in focus. Perhaps this was nothing more than a number of people realizing they tried to do this way too soon and found an excuse for postponing it. Remember what this is all about, it's about honoring our fallen, not a vacation in the Big Apple.

                          By the way, no_name_FF, try to tone down the "fan the flames" rehtoric. This isn't the time or place. There's a lot more going on here than you seem to fathom. I suggest you do your homework.


                          • #14
                            We are the IAFF and WE were coming to honor our fallen brothers and nothing else.
                            Play politics later and honor these men as they should be honored.
                            If you want to make a statement what better way than to have 50,000 thousand firefighters there.I think this was a very bad call.
                            Now you will have 50,00 ****ed off firefighter not in NY but throughout the nation who have gotten leave,swapped shifts and in a few cases have all ready started out.
                            It's not about dollars and cents its about feeling used as a pawn to make a political statement and this is the wrong event to use.

                            [ 11-07-2001: Message edited by: FFNOLA ]


                            • #15
                              I personally could careless about whomever has non-refundable tickets.(including my self)

                              It is not about the IAFF and it sure as [email protected]#* isn't about you ...it is about the widows and our Brothers in NY and what they felt was an inapropirate service. The only politcs is that of the Mayor who would like to be associated with such a memorial event, that is why it was originally schedualed so soon.

                              As for who cancelled it...Think, do you really belive the international called it off on their own accord? Pull your head out! They are the cordinating orgainzation. Locals 94 and 854 and their members are the ones with the final say in the matter.

                              No_name_FF your selfish motives are disgusting and regretable. Thinking of all the "poor" guys with potentially non-refundable tickets...Instead I recomend thinking of the family members and Brothers who are still greiving those still at the bottom of that pile of rubble.

                              Two cents from a fireman.

                              [ 11-07-2001: Message edited by: FRED ]


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