This year marks the 20th anniversary of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, when almost 3,000 people lost their lives during the terrorist attacks at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and aboard United Airlines Flight 93.
Even though the events of 9/11 happened two decades ago, it was a day that changed our world forever – redefining our sense of safety and uniting all of us as a city and a country.
BMCC’s History and Connection to 9/11
Borough of Manhattan Community College was deeply impacted by the tragedies of 9/11, losing 8 members of the college community including: Annette Dataram, Keithroy Maynard, Shevone Mentis, Jorge Moran, Curtis Noel, Angela Rosario, Khamaladai Singh and Hector Tirado as a result of the attacks. In addition, the college lost one of its buildings when 7 World Trade Center collapsed onto the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall.
BMCC played a vital role on that day and in the weeks that followed helping the Port Authority of New York create a triage in the college’s gymnasium, which later became a Command Center.
Long-time BMCC President Antonio Pérez led efforts to enable classes to resume and appeared on CBS News reassuring the New York City community that the college would reopen.
Under his leadership, BMCC’s students, faculty, and staff persevered and returned to learning, teaching and working at our campus, which continues to serve as a valued resource for students who wish to earn their college degree so they can build a better future for themselves and their families.
YESTERDAY, we were honored to be joined by CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodriguez for a wreath ceremony and reception to remember the lives lost during 9/11. TODAY, I encourage you to watch, “BMCC and 9-11: Remembrance and Resilience,” video which will be livestreamed. The video includes interviews with current and former members of our college community sharing their stories and the experiences from September 11th, a date engraved in our collective memories.
BMCC Providing Assistance to 9/11 Victims
Like most of Lower Manhattan, BMCC rose from the ashes and rebuilt Fiterman Hall into the beautiful structure you see today. BMCC is the only college in U.S. history to have lost a campus building to a terrorist attack. Yet, today we stand stronger despite the challenges and devastation of a global pandemic that has impacted so many members of our community.
While it is common knowledge that first responders were covered for their illnesses resulting from exposure to the toxic dust associated with 9/11, many who lived, worked, or attended schools in the exposure area were and still are unaware that they too may be entitled to the same healthcare benefits and compensation.
BMCC is, therefore, addressing this issue of concern to our faculty, staff and student alumni who were present either on 9/11 or during the two semesters that followed (fall 2001 and/or spring 2002). The college is providing assistance to help 9/11 victims with their proof of presence documentation to ensure they receive the health benefits and help to establish health claims as a result of toxic exposure. Information is provided on the “9/11 Victims Information Resources” website.
Take a moment to reflect and remember. Let us never forget how September 11, 2001 changed our lives forever.
Anthony E. Munroe
President, Borough of Manhattan Community College