Dedication Ceremony: September 11, 2006
On September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, the monument To the Struggle Against World Terrorism was dedicated. The ceremony started with the performance of the National Anthems of the United States and the Russian Federation. Former United States President William Jefferson Clinton was the keynote speaker. Sharing the podium with him were the Honorable Sergei Mironov, Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Russian Federal Assembly; Michael Chertoff, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; John S. Corzine, Governor of New Jersey; Bill Thompson, Comptroller of New York City; Joseph Doria, Mayor of the City of Bayonne; Zurab Tsereteli, the artist and President of the Russian Academy of Arts; members of the United States Senate; members of the Presidium of the Russian Federation and family members of the victims of 9/11. Together with the distinguished speakers, hundreds of residents of New York and Bayonne, as well as other representatives of the American and Russian public, stood in memory of those who died.
Speaking on behalf of the government of the Russian Federation, Sergei Mironov, Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Russian Federal Assembly, reminded those gathered that Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first foreign leader to call President George Bush on September 11, 2001 to express condolences and offer assistance. Chairman Mironov said, “The entire civilized world understands that terrorism has no boundaries and nationalities; it does not depend upon skin color or creed. We have to work together in an anti terrorist coalition. ...[t]he most important thing is the security of citizens of every nation on our planet.”
After thanking “my friend ZurabTsereteli for one more time capturing the remarkable feelings that go beyond words,” President Clinton said, “Our memories mark this day far more than any words can. Senator Menendez said 9/11 gave us a moment of national and global unity all together too rare in these contentious times. It was a moment when we all knew that our common humanity is far, far more important than any differences we have. My prayer is that today we might recover some sense of that unity to finish the tasks that lay before us in the ashes of the World Trade Center, in the gaping wound of the Pentagon, and in that lonely field in Pennsylvania, by supporting the families of those killed and the injured, by improving our defenses, and by holding the terrorists accountable in the global world with more partners and fewer terrorists.“
After the ceremony, those attending laid flowers at the Monument’s base, which bears the names of all those who perished.