The chief of police said this is the “one year that nobody is talking about war.”
“We have our men and women in Afghanistan or in the Middle East every single day. We should not forget about the great job that they do,” Heider said. “We wanted to thank you and recognize you for all that you’ve done for us.”
Mahan took the podium to announce that, once again, Colonie has been ranked one of the safest communities in the nation.
“That’s a tribute to everyone behind me as well as all of you in our community,” Mahan said. “As supervisor, I want to say I am very, very proud of the work that is done by our people here in town … that help us and support us.”
The keynote speaker, Lt. Colonel Steven M. Fukino of the New York National Guard, spoke of a recent visit to the World Trade Center site where workers were “enthusiastically rebuilding the center.” He said he met a construction worker that showed him a photo of his family with an empty chair.
“When I asked about the empty chair, he said it was in honor of his big brother who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Tower I on 11 September, 2011. You see, his brother was a first responder. He was a proud member of the fire department of New York City and one of the 343 FDNY members who lost their lives that tragic day,” Fukino said.
Fukino thanked all of the first responders from 9/11 and who serve today, including volunteers.
“We have the utmost gratitude and appreciation for all first responders for their bravery, sacrifice and dedication,” Fukino said. “We, like the first responders, are dedicated and hardworking men and women who accept personal risk to ensure everyone’s safety and protect the liberties and freedoms we cherish.”