New York Waterway CEO Armand Pohan reflects on the 22 year anniversary on 9/11, noting that we should “remember the spirit of unity that ultimately prevailed.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We will always keep close to our hearts those who lost their lives and their survivors. Many of us remember the fear, anger and sadness that gripped our country in the aftermath of that day,” he said in a statement.
“We must also remember the spirit of unity that ultimately prevailed. That spirit was present from the earliest moments of the tragedy.”
NY Waterway’s entire fleet, which consisted of 24 ferries at the time, were the first boats to respond to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
Captains and deckhands adhered to the “Code of the Mariner,” to help whenever needed, as opposed to responding to a request or authorization from any government agency.
These ferries were the largest single component of the water-borne evacuation of 500,000 people from Manhattan that day: the largest maritime evacuation in history.
Ferries used the two available slips at the World Trade Center Ferry Terminal. Because NY Waterway uses bow-loading ferries, they just pushed up to the seawalls in Battery Park City and Battery Park, where people then climbed over the seawall railings into the ferries.
The shortest run was directly across the Hudson River to the Colgate Dock, where the large Colgate Clock stands in Jersey City.
Other ferries went to the Hoboken Rail Ferry Terminal, the Erie Lackawanna Terminal. At these sites, emergency personnel were waiting to assist.
Later in the day and into the night, ferries also carried military and law enforcement personnel from New Jersey back to Manhattan.
Fishing boats, tug boats and other craft also joined the effort. Thousands of people also took Staten Island ferries.
According to NY Waterway, their crews evacuated more than 150,000 people from Manhattan that day and named four ferries in honor of those who lost their lives that day.
The Father Mychal Judge is named for 343 New York City Firefighters who died, the Moira Smith pays tribute to the 23 New York City police officers who died, the Fred V. Morrone is in remembrance of the 37 Port Authority police officers who died, and the Douglas B. Gurian pays homage to the thousands of civilians who died.
Additionally, the Austin Tobin is named for the Port Authority executive director who oversaw construction of the World Trade Center, while the Enduring Freedom is named for the men and women from America and our allies who dedicated themselves to the liberation of Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.