The Port Authority today dedicated a temporary memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, coinciding with the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attack.
Six people died in that bombing: John DiGiovanni, of Valley Stream, N.Y., a salesman parking his car in the WTC garage; Wilfredo Mercado, of Brooklyn, N.Y., an employee of the Windows on the World restaurant; and four Port Authority employees – Robert Kirkpatrick, of Suffern, N.Y., Stephen Knapp, of Staten Island, N.Y., William Macko, of Bayonne, N.J., and Monica Rodriguez Smith, and her unborn child, of Seaford, N.Y. More than 1,000 people were injured when terrorists detonated a massive truck bomb in a public parking garage beneath the World Trade Center. The Port Authority marked the solemn anniversary with a mass at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan, followed by a moment of silence with relatives of the victims at the World Trade Center site at 12:18 p.m., the exact time of the bombing.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, "Twelve years ago today, the World Trade Center was targeted by evil men full of hate and intolerance. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, we shall never forget the victims of this first assault on our freedom and democratic way of life. Those who were lost, and their families, will be forever in our prayers."
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, "The terrorist attack 12 years ago remains fresh in the minds of all of us, especially the families of the six victims of the 1993 bombing. I hope this memorial will give them some comfort, knowing that we will always remember their loved ones."
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "As we remember those we lost in the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and later on September 11, 2001, we pause to mourn our loss. For those terrible events changed us; those tragedies are now woven into the fabric of our national identity. And the spirit of those who are no longer here propels us to unite in defiance of such terror – and we owe it to ourselves to renew our resolve to build a better, richer, and more peaceful world."
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "We deeply grieve the lives lost in the 1993 bombing. Four Port Authority employees lost their lives at the hands of terrorists. This temporary memorial will ensure that families will always have a place to pay tribute to their loved ones until the permanent memorial is set in place."
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "While it is difficult to think of the lives lost, we find strength in celebrating their legacies. This temporary memorial will serve as a reminder of the joyous lives they lived."
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, "The 1993 bombing has left all of us with a heartache that has been difficult to heal. The 9/11 attacks compounded that heartache. We hope that we never have to experience such a devastating loss again."
The original granite fountain memorial was destroyed when the towers collapsed on September 11, 2001. During the rescue and recovery operation, a fragment of the original memorial was found. Clearly visible was "John D," part of the name of Mr. DiGiovanni, one of the six victims.
This fragment is preserved in the interim memorial. Port Authority Senior Architect Jacqueline Hanley designed the 9_-foot, stainless steel pylon that evokes the memory of the Twin Towers. The temporary 1993 World Trade Center bombing memorial will remain until the permanent memorial is opened at the World Trade Center site. The permanent memorial will honor both the victims of the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.