Addresses the Banking Department
Staff November 2, 2001
the first time in the history of the state banking department a
Governor of the State of New York came to talk to the Banking Department
staff, a small staff by any agency standard, to talk about the work they
did in those first hours. The Governor commended the Banking Department
staff for being quiet heroes, and for just doing their jobs in a
time of tragedy.
is only fitting that closing remarks encompass the spirit of those
committed to the financial services industry. What follows is a
tribute to the Banking Department staff who remained dedicated to
ensuring the stability of the nation's financial system during a
E. Pataki view video
I wanted to come by this afternoon. I wanted to come by before
this, but I haven't had a chance - to thank you personally for what
you represent. Now, Elizabeth talked a little bit about what you've
done. But really when I think about what you've done, I am very
proud of you, and you should be very proud of yourselves.
Since September 11th, everyone is looking at the word 'hero' in
a different way. People we took for granted like New York's firefighters,
ambulance workers and police officers, are now held up nationally
as heroes and rightfully so. But I think there are other quiet heroes
as well - heroes whose names aren't going to be on the marquee at
Madison Square Garden and who aren't going to be written up in the
newspapers. You are those quiet heroes.
Elizabeth talked about how I've known of your professionalism and
competence and of course that's true. We have the best Banking Department
in the world. We have the oldest and the best and I've been proud
of that. But you did two other things on September 11th and since
that day that stand out beyond your professionalism and your competence.
You know what happened that day. I know from a distance what it
was like that early morning, because I watched it on TV. But you
were there. You watched it out the windows. You watched it from
the base of 2 Rector Street. You watched it from the subways that
you couldn't get out of. You watched it from the coffee shops that
you had to run into where you couldn't breathe. You were right there
at the heart and the rest of New York State and the country appreciate
the magnitude of that catastrophe. You lived through it, and you
still live through it everyday because 2 Rector looks right out
at ground zero.
I know that, and I know another thing as well. I know that you never
wavered in your commitment to your professional jobs. You never
wavered in the fact that we were going to be back in 2 Rector Street
-- and there was a time when a lot of people were saying we shouldn't
have anybody downtown. You never wavered in your commitment to go
back to 2 Rector Street.
Elizabeth talked a little bit about what you've done since that
time and I can recall one time in particular. I remember we were
sitting Friday after September 11th in the emergency command center
talking about health problems and other concerns and banking concerns:
like the fact that there was no cash in the ATM's. Like the fact
that there was an inability to move money from one bank to another
or to get liquidity into the system. You not only showed the courage
of going back to 2 Rector, you showed the commitment to work night
and day, to work extra hours and to work weekends, through your
suffering and through your sorrow - to make sure that the best banking
regulatory group in the world did its job under the most difficult
circumstances in the world.
So, I wanted to come tell you, first of all, how proud of you we
are. Second of all, that we are going to continue. We are doing,
and will continue to do, everything we can to make sure that your
environment and your work conditions are as safe as can be. We have
our environmental commissioner here and our health commissioner
here, and they'll answer any questions you might have. We have been
monitoring the air constantly and doing everything we can to make
sure that you are safe where you work.
The other thing I wanted to say is that we are in a war, a war against
fear and against terror. We're going to win that war and we're not
going to win that war because the President has been a strong leader
globally, the Mayor has been a strong leader locally, and everyone
has put aside partisan politics and pulled together the way that
We're going to win that war because of you -- because of the quiet
heroes who do their jobs under very difficult conditions and horrible
circumstances, who are suffering not just the remembrance of the
horror of that day, but losses of people like Neil Levin and others
whom we loved so much. And yet you are doing your jobs, and doing
them better than anybody else in the world.
So, I want to thank you. I want to salute you. I want to salute
some of the quiet heroes who don't get written about but believe
me, who are appreciated enormously by me, by the people of New York,
and the people of America.
So thank you, God bless you. Continue doing what you're doing, and
you will help us not only to make this City and State stronger but
to make this country stronger as we defeat the evil that attacked
us on September 11th. Thank you, God bless you.