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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

"September 11"

ALBANY, Aug. 29 -- For each generation of Americans, certain dates become etched forever
in memory. These dates, too often associated with national tragedies, resonate for a lifetime. December 7, 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor. November 22, 1963. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. And April 4, 1968 – the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

These dates come quickly to mind as examples. And so it is with September 11, 2001.

In a speech to the nation from the East Room of the White House three months later, on December 11, 2011, former President George W. Bush offered the following words to a nation still in shock, mourning and outrage: “…and so we remember. We remember the perfect blueness of the sky that Tuesday morning…We remember the courage of the rescue workers and the outpouring of friendship and sympathy from nations around the world…The republic is young, but its memory is long. Now we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning…It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend – even a friend whose name it never knew.”

The President concluded his remarks that day this way, “We will remember where we were and how we felt…And in our time we will honor the memory of the 11th day by doing our duty as citizens of this great country, freedom’s home and freedom’s defender.”

His words remain fitting and poignant even today, ten years after 9/11. Opening this next week (and continuing through the end of September) in 30 communities throughout New York State, including the cities of Elmira and Ithaca, a series of “New York Remembers” exhibitions will offer New Yorkers a moving and powerful place to remember September 11th – to honor the memory of the fallen, to rekindle the heroism of those who responded, and to reenergize the spirit of resolve that has helped our nation recover.

These “New York Remembers” exhibits have been organized by -- and feature artifacts from the collections of -- the New York State Museum ( and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum ( You can find out more about them on the websites just noted.

In his announcement of “New York Remembers” earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "These exhibitions will give New Yorkers in towns, villages, and cities all across the state a gathering place to once again stand as one community to make sure we never forget those who lost their lives on September 11th and to embrace the spirit of unity that brought us together on that day of devastating tragedy."

In Elmira, “New York Remembers” is located at the Clemens Center (607-733-5639), and in Ithaca the exhibit can be found at the Rothschild Building at Ithaca Commons (607-277-8679). All of the “New York Remembers” exhibits will be open on Sunday, September 11th. They join a wealth of 9/11 television specials, news articles and other publications, and many additional observances in the weeks ahead – including a “Healing Field” flag memorial that I’ll help unveil at the St. Mary Our Mother School in Horseheads on Friday, September 9th at 6:30 p.m. and where a 10th anniversary observance will continue through September 11th. More information
on the Healing Field event can be found at

I’ll be proud to remember those who perished and recall how so many emergency services volunteers, not-for-profit organizations, school classrooms, business leaders and other concerned citizens from across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions responded in positive, uplifting
ways in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

I’ll be proud to remember how so many of this nation’s citizens, young and old, from all walks of life, responded to one of America’s darkest days with a powerful, enduring determination to help our nation carry on, to recover, to rebuild – and how, to this very day, this memory serves to remind us that even in the toughest of times Americans face a future of hope, that the fundamental values of decency, honor and respect will keep this nation strong.

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara


Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Thomas Gifford, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison

Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field


Legislature Chairman

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687

Legislature Members:

Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967

Doris L. Karius, 546-5544

Barbara Halpin, 594-3683

Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385

Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen 481-0482

Stewart Field, Watkins Glen 535-2335

County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133

Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222

Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222

County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181

District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383


State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Christopher Friend -- Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
Room 720, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4538


© The Odessa File 2011
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869