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Speech Delivered by City Manager Susan McCarthy

Welcome to all of you who work in or are visiting the Civic Center today.

I'm Susan McCarthy, City Manager of Santa Monica.

With me at the podium are Police Chief Jim Butts and Fire Chief Ettore Berardinelli.

Last year on this day and at this hour we were still trying to grasp the enormity of the morning's events in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania.

All of us were shaken by the televised images and deeply affected as the magnitude of the loss unfolded.

Many of us have friends, family members or colleagues in those areas and were uncertain of their well-being.

No one knew what might happen next.

Today we have the perspective provided by countless news stories, commentaries, books, magazines, videos and photographs of the events of September 11, 2001.

We know that our own community, so far removed geographically from the east coast, was directly affected by the terrorist attacks.

Santa Monica lost two residents, Dora Menchaca and Carolyn Beug, and a local business manager, Ronald Gamboa, in the attacks.

Some of us experienced personal loss, of friends, family members or colleagues.

We experience today the continued effects of reduced travel and tourism on the local economy.

And certainly we feel less secure than we did on September 10 a year ago.

Still, we learned something about ourselves and those of us who work in City government demonstrated something important to the community that day and in the months that followed.

The object of terrorism is to destabilize government, disrupt the economy and undermine the confidence of those attacked.

The 9/11 terrorists didn't achieve those objectives.

We stayed at our work sites and conducted the people's business on September 11, 2001 and in the ensuing days and months.

We've found responsible ways to deal with the economic reversals.

We've mourned the tremendous loss of life, given generously to relief efforts, celebrated all that is good about America and struggled to understand perspectives very different from our own.

We get up each morning, go to work and face the new day.

We take to heart the advice of Franklin Delano Roosevelt - that what we have most to fear is fear itself.

And we recognize that there are times when it feels significantly better to gather together than to go our separate ways.

Today is one of those times and we gather to remember those who lost their lives, to reflect on the impact of 9/11 on our nation, our community and ourselves and to honor the men and women who bravely responded in a dark hour for our nation and the world.

Our thanks to Betty Macias and her friends for raising their voices in song and to those of you who helped to organize this observance, including many from the Police and Fire Departments.

And thanks to ALL of you for joining us here today.

Our neighbors from the courthouse who work in the system of justice that distinguishes America.

Our neighbors from RAND whose policy research informs and advises our nation's leaders.

Our colleagues from the construction industry who are creating new assets in the Civic Center.

And all of you, our City's employees, who honor and improve our community every day through your delivery of services.
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