With the arrival of the fifth anniversary of September 11, many Americans continue to reflect on where they were when they heard the news about the terrorist attacks. On that day in 2001, I was ironically participating in the ultimate of Democratic processes - an election - and I was in front of a busy polling place with then New York City Councilman to be John Liu when my
cell phone rang and I was advised by my chief of staff - who was watching television - that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Like everybody else, we assumed that it was a small plane accident. We looked towards the Manhattan skyline and saw smoke from our vantage point in Flushing, Queens.

Shortly afterwards, when I received a call about the second plane, we knew it was no accident. Certain that the election was going to be suspended, I left to be of whatever assistance I could. I manned the phones at our district office in Bayside where I talked to constituents and emergency service organizations. I then went to assist in the loading of boats with medical and emergency equipment/supplies from the North Shore heading towards Manhattan as all the highways were closed. After traveling to Washington in the middle of the night following the attacks, we met with President Bush at the White House and received various briefings. Then on September 14, I was at Ground Zero with the President and other Members of the New York Delegation.