Today, thirteen years ago, we marked the official end of the 9/11 Rescue/Recovery Mission. May 30, 2002 has special meaning to those of us who, with the help of our Countrymen, picked ourselves up from our knees to begin a mission that would not only inform our life stories but also define a generation of America and the world. I remember on that day we walked proudly up the steel bridge behind the flag draped empty stokes basket and the last piece of steel to the beat of a lone bass drum. What would come next for those who performed a job like no other, in a safe and compassionate manner? For so many of us the answer was HEART 9/11- whose mission is to Respond immediately to natural and man-made disasters; Rebuild infrastructure in hard-hit areas to meet immediate needs; Recover by building resiliency for individuals and communities. Putting the surviving families and the needs of the recovering city first while we toiled at the World Trade Center site enlightened us to the fact that we heal ourselves when we help others. The transfer of our skills and expertise to other victims helps us propagate the legacy of those lost on 9/11 and ensures that we keep our promise to “Never Forget.”

The last support beam from the south tower of the former World Trade Center was removed during a ceremony on May 30, 2002.