As we mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, families will honor those we lost, and those whose extraordinary heroism inspired a nation, in different ways. Some will offer a prayer or a moment of silence, while others may take the opportunity to volunteer in their communities. And while the community most affected by the attacks was New York City, the spirit of remembrance, unity, and sacrifice is one shared by families across the country. Indeed, as President Obama has said, “every year on this day, we are all New Yorkers.”
At HUD, we honor that spirit by working to help rebuild New York. As both HUD Secretary and a native New Yorker who witnessed one of the hijacked planes crash into the Twin Towers, I couldn’t be prouder of the work HUD has done to help the people of New York make their communities whole again.
I’m proud that, since the attacks, HUD has provided nearly $3.5 billion in Community Development Block Grant funding to spur New York’s recovery efforts — but I’m even prouder of the work we did to cut through the bureaucracy and red tape to ensure these funds get to the families and businesses that needed the most help. Along with the extraordinary dedication of the city and State of New York, and key partners like the Lower Manhattan and Empire State Development Corporations, HUD’s investment has:
• Supported more than 16,000 firms that directly employed a quarter-million people,
• Helped create an additional 10,000 jobs by encouraging businesses to stay in New York,
• Contributed $329 million to the creation and construction of the National September 11 Memorial – nearly half of the overall investment in a monument that will serve as a place of healing and remembrance for families across the country.
Of course, our task isn’t over. With HUD’s support, our local partners will continue to focus on rebuilding Lower Manhattan, from economic development and health care services for families to long-term neighborhood revitalization programs.
Indeed, at HUD and throughout the Obama Administration, we will keep working hard to ensure taxpayer dollars complete a revitalization that the American people can be proud of.
We did not forget. Not even for one day. And as we commemorate the tragedy of September 11th, I commit to you that we never will.