His video message can be seen at: YouTube: https://youtu.be/USfrXMwH25w

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hungary.usembassy/videos/1357545744375316/

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"As a New Yorker, September 11 is always an extremely emotional day for me. The deadly terrorist attacks against the United States on that day ended the lives of close to 3000 innocent people, including four of my friends.

I was in my beloved city when the terrorists struck, and I’ll never forget what happened.

It was primary election day for New York City, and Sheila and I went to the polls to vote. When we entered the polling place, it was a beautiful, late summer Tuesday, with a clear blue sky and bright sun. When we came out a short time later, our world had changed.

We saw the chaos, smelled the smoke, and felt the fear. Like people around the world, we were shocked, even more so when we heard about the other hijacked planes, in Washington DC and over Pennsylvania. We rushed home and began frantically checking on our loved ones and friends.

Those early days were very difficult. We watched in amazement as brave first responders, covered in dust and climbing through smouldering rubble, kept working despite having lost many of their own colleagues and friends.

Over time, I learned the awful news that four of my friends were among the victims. I’d like to briefly tell you about them. My friend Richard Ross, who I met through the Young Presidents’ Organization, lost his life as a passenger aboard one of the hijacked planes from Boston.

My friend Neil Levin, who was Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – a job that Governor Pataki had offered me – was working in his office in the World Trade Center when tragedy struck, and he sadly never made it out, which might have happened to me if I had taken the job.

After hearing about the terrorist attacks, my friend Tony Infante, Port Authority Police Commanding Officer, rushed to the buildings, and was last seen running up the stairs as he helped people coming down.

And my closest friend John O’Neill had just retired as one of the chief counter-terrorism experts with the FBI and three weeks earlier had started his new job as chief of security for the World Trade Center.

Like Tony, after the attack John rushed into the burning building and he was last seen high up in the South Tower coordinating evacuation efforts for others.

I’ll never forget my friends and the other nearly 3000 people who were so cruelly killed on that tragic day.

But I will also remember something very encouraging— so many brave Americans, including men I am honoured to call friends, rushing in, putting themselves in danger to save people they did not know, and joining together in a spirit of unity and shared purpose.

I had the solemn honour to represent the State of New York and speak at several of the funerals for firefighters, and I am forever touched by their heroism.

We also remember the outpouring of support from our friends around the world, including our NATO ally Hungary, which offered solidarity during that difficult time.

For Americans, September 11 has now become a day to reflect on our memories of those who died, and to honour the brave sacrifices of the first responders.

We also renew our resolve to keep our people safe and be vigilant against the threat of terrorism.

And we summon the common bond that was so visible in those days following the attack, by taking part in acts of charity and service to our communities.

The need to support our neighbours and fellow citizens is more important than ever. In this spirit, I am proud to support a tradition that was started by our Embassy in 2010, in partnership with the Hungarian Red Cross.

I invite you to participate in our annual Blood Drive, scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, at the headquarters of the Hungarian Red Cross in Budapest. You can find more details about this on the Embassy’s Facebook page and website. I want to thank you for your support and may God bless the memory of the people from all over the world who perished on September 11."


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